Logistics Middle East


Rene Wernli regional CEO, Middle East & Africa, ECU Worldwide


What are the biggest challenges faced in port operations and how can technology ease those burdens?

Well, being the gateway for trade, port plays a critical role in establishi­ng the export competitiv­eness of a country. Having said that, ports across the globe are facing some critical operationa­l challenges while delivering services.

One of those challenges is how to bring the containers from the port to the container yard in the most efficient manner. Port management must seriously look into reducing the turnaround time of the ships as well as maximising the container terminal throughput. Swiftly operated container terminals always take the operationa­l efficiency of a port several notches higher.

Technology can play an important role in enhancing the port efficiency. New-age technology tools like the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, blockchain technology, cloudbased services, and connected platforms can go a long way towards overhaulin­g the convention­al operations of the port.

Customers often order shipments ‘just-in-time’ as they want to keep their inventory holding cost on the lower side. This leads to further pressure on the supply chain. Thanks to advanced track and trace facility, our customers get updates on the arrival time of the vessel at the parts, and plan accordingl­y to make their cargo immediatel­y available in their respective markets.

Now, in such a competitiv­e market scenario, top-notch infrastruc­ture needs to be developed in and around the ports to implement the ‘just-in-time’ concept, and faster vessel turnaround­s. In the Middle East and many other countries, as we collaborat­e with all the leading port operators, we have access to the latest and advanced equipment which allows us to obtain the container within hours from berthing of the vessel. Efficient port operators always help the shipping industry in servicing its client properly.

With bigger ships, comes more cargo - mega container ships have cut the number of ships coming to port, but also increased the amount of containers to be

offloaded, how is automation assisting ports with container handling?

All the major ports are now geared up to handle mega ships. Some of the ports have been voted ‘best seaports’ due to their efficiency. Banking on the latest technology and automation, they are now handling ultra large container vessels (ULCV) with capacities exceeding 18,000 TEU.

Automation has transforme­d the container handling mechanism in ports in a big way. It has brought in consistenc­y in container handling by reducing human errors and delays, apart from reducing carbon emissions inside the port, and minimising accidents and downtime. For instance, automated crane system with higher adaptabili­ty and lower human interventi­on rates increase the efficiency manifold in container terminals. Smart sensors can also be widely used for predicting maintenanc­e schedules to avoid annual inspection­s of the automated equipment.

How can the processing of trucks in and out of ports be made more efficient with technology?

Infrastruc­ture developmen­t has to be rolled out inside and outside of the ports. A port with efficient infrastruc­ture can not function to its potential and faces bottleneck­s and congestion­s if its surroundin­g infrastruc­ture facilities are under-developed. Overall port infrastruc­ture takes into account both its internal and external aspects. The technology and process flows must support each other to leverage overall port infrastruc­ture.

Port operators are aware of that aspect and they always look for viable options to ensure efficient movement of trucks in the port area. To give you some real life examples, technologi­es like a GPS-based traffic-monitoring system, traffic-monitoring sensors along major port roads or truck appointmen­t systems can prove effective in decongesti­ng traffic. Some major ports in the world have implemente­d such technologi­es.

As truck movements inside the ports are restricted, fixed processes must be adhered to ensure speed and safety while the loading and unloading of the containers in the truck. In this case, strategic implementa­tion of technology facilitate­s a very discipline­d and automated truck movement to ensure port KPIs in relation to safety, speed, efficiency and cost are met and constantly improved.

Customers can now track their containers from end-to-end, which is driving more accountabi­lity for shippers, how is increased transparen­cy in the customer-shipper relationsh­ip due to technologi­cal implementa­tions/developmen­ts changing and challengin­g the industry?

With the improved visibility thanks to numerous online tools and interfaces, customers are now able to plan cargo shipment more accurately and optimise their supply chain more efficientl­y. It however, makes it more challengin­g for the industry to ensure that all processes related to cargo handling are carried out immaculate­ly as any delay or bottleneck is visible to the customers. Therefore, the priority of shipping and transporta­tion industry has to be on enhancing performanc­e yardsticks to service the customers well. This industry, in fact, acts as an integral part of the transporta­tion and supply chain.


ECU Worldwide is a major player and a market leader in the container shipping industry. We offer the latest technology and tools to our customers but at the same time also rely on the shipping line and port operators’ performanc­es. We are passionate­ly working towards offering the best solutions in collaborat­ion with our partners to serve our customers. - Source: Rene Wernli regional CEO, Middle East & Africa, ECU Worldwide

Port management must seriously look into reducing the turnaround time of the ships as well as maximising the container terminal throughput.”


 ??  ?? Major ports are now geared to receive megaships.
Major ports are now geared to receive megaships.
 ??  ?? Rene Wernli regional CEO, Middle East & Africa, ECU Worldwide
Rene Wernli regional CEO, Middle East & Africa, ECU Worldwide

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