Patrick’s journey to automation began in the mid-1990s, when the management team faced the challenge of improving the safety and efficiency of the operation while at the same time containing rising costs. Patrick saw automation as an opportunity to streamline operations and introduce process-line concepts into terminal stevedoring.
An added push was the emergence of a third stevedore to challenge the effective duopoly of Patrick and DP World at the Port of Brisbane. The focus of the operation was to improve stevedoring in anticipation of increased competition and tougher operating conditions.
Patrick decided to automate an existing Kalmar straddle carrier, which made possible a phased transition from manual to automated processes.
The automation technology used in Kalmar AutoStrads was developed in close cooperation between Kalmar and Asciano.
Patrick’s Brisbane terminal now operates 27 Kalmar AutoStrads and plans to implement 44 AutoStrads and real time control systems automation at the company’s Port Botany
redevelopment project in Sydney by early 2015.
Fully automated straddle carriers can operate all day, every day and cut labour costs significantly. Today a crane gang of only four people is needed to operate a ship-to-shore crane and the yard and stacking area.
Eliminating human error is one of the main benefits of an automated system. The result is a marked improvement in workplace safety. Patrick’s AutoStrad terminal has become one of the safest in the world since the introduction of the Kalmar AutoStrad system.