"We call for industry-wide collaboration around terminal automation. Ports and terminals are moving towards automated operations, but the discussion tends to focus on the technical aspects of the change. We want to explore automation from different angles and make it more accessible to terminals by sharing knowledge and best practices, demonstrating solutions and discussing real-life experiences from past deployment projects," says Tero Kokko, Senior Vice President, Automation and Projects, Kalmar.

The agenda of the event included keynote speeches about autonomous shipping, automation deployment projects and shipping industry transformation. On the first day, Sauli Eloranta, Senior Vice President Technology Management & Innovation at Rolls-Royce Marine discussed recent developments in designing autonomous ships, while Lars Jensen, CEO & Partner at SeaIntelligence Consulting offered insights on the transformations and challenges facing the liner shipping business. Anders Dømmestrup, CEO at Victoria International Container Terminal shared his practical experience in building the world's first fully automated container terminal.

After lunch, participants were able to attend demonstration sessions and presentations at various locations throughout the Technology and Competence Centre. Topics included boosting yard operations with Kalmar's new Rail Mounted Gantry Crane; Kalmar FastCharge™ solutions; and Kalmar Key, the terminal industry's first automation platform with open interfaces.

Participants were also able to experience the Technology and Competence Centre's brand-new The EDGE visitor centre, which provides – literally – a unique vantage point on automated end-to-end container handling at the industry's largest port automation test field. The first day concluded with a dinner at Tampere's historic Finlayson Palace restaurant.

Day 2 opened with the keynote address of Alec Colvin, Director, Belfast Container Terminal, who presented the automated RTG operations at Dublin Ferryport Terminal. The day continued with further demos and automation technology showcases covering straddle carrier, shuttle carrier and RTG automation as well as maintenance at automated terminals. The event concluded with a series of round-table discussions and reflections on the themes and insights gained over the two days.

“We want to explore automation from different angles and make it more accessible to terminals."
Tero Kokko, Senior Vice President, Automation and Projects, Kalmar.

During breaks in the main programme, participants could enjoy a range of additional demos and technology showcases in the lobby of the building. These ranged from Kalmar, Navis and Bromma solutions to technology partners LASE, Optofidelity, Orbita and Vaisala, who presented a range of solutions and working concepts to extend the capabilities of the Kalmar terminal automation system.

"The event was all about exploring automation together with us," says Mikko Mononen, Vice President, Intelligent Horizontal Transportation Solutions, Kalmar. "It was a great opportunity for all of us to learn from peers, share thoughts and experiences, get new ideas and simply be inspired. It was also about building a network for ongoing collaboration and discussion."

Kalmar has hosted Terminal Automation Summits in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Americas since 2016. The summits have focused on critical success factors in terminal automation projects and themes such as change management. The events will continue in the coming years.


Text: Thomas FreundlichPhotos: Juho Mäkelä