Kalmar: Are You an Automation Leader or Follower?
In the latest Port 2060 blog by Kalmar, Director of Terminal Automation Jari Hämäläinen outlines the key question the port terminal industry faces at present: are you an automation leader or a follower?
Hämäläinen states: “Automation and self-driving cars have received a lot of attention in the past few years, but the automation of container handling equipment and road vehicles is only one step towards the logistics chain of the future.
“In this vision, a transparent information flow extends throughout the cargo handling and global supply chain all the way from producer to consumer.
“Openness and transparency pave the way for new competitors and partners, many of which will own or operate no physical assets.
“In the above-mentioned world... The winners are defined by the most intelligent solutions, and the competitive advantage associated with physical assets, such as crane hardware, becomes less significant.”
Hämäläinen added: “Because of the huge mass-market opportunity for technologies related to IoT and autonomous cars we are seeing massive investments from both major technology companies and innovative startups, which will speed up development to a pace that we can scarcely imagine.
“Most significantly for our own industry, we will see new solutions, lower prices and faster progress for technology that can also be applied to our specialised field.
“When mass-market demand fuels the rapid development of autonomous cars, we in the container shipping industry will be able to reap the benefits and develop our own offering further, without having to invent every solution from scratch.
“[This is when] the end-to-end digital logistics chain becomes a reality – and it is not a faraway reality – we will see companies with completely new operating concepts optimising the cargo flow and making a profit at it.
“Is this hype? I believe that this is our reality tomorrow.
“Are we really up to meeting this challenge, or are we content to continue doing what we have been doing so far, trusting that it will carry us into the future?
“When we find ourselves in the new autonomous world, do we want to be among the first to follow the development – or the ones to lead it?”