New Automated Gate at Port Cuts Wait Times for Haulers


Port of Liverpool (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and in the public domain)

An new automated gate system installed at the Port of Liverpool will reduce wait times and paperwork for haulers, resulting in a faster turnaround and more efficiency.

The gate system — which was created by Kalmar, a division of Cargotec — will be fully operations by early 2015, according to a Kalmar news release.

The Kalmar Smartlane automated gate is part of a $9.43 million improvements and upgrade project at the busy UK port facility operated by Peel Ports. It comes at eh same time as a $514 million deep-water expansion of Liverpool2, which is scheduled to be completed by next year. The new development is expected to increase port-side logistics  required to support increased cargo volume.

21st Century Technology

The gate system uses automated identification technologies to manage gate operations for trucks, ensuring that all containers and trucks are instantly identified before entering or exiting the terminal. An optical character recognition camera captures the truck’s registration and container IDs. The cameras were provided by APS Technology, a partner with Kalmar.

Currently, a manual system is used at Liverpool port. This requires every driver to register at a site office, complete a form and wait for clearance before being allowed to enter the port. Once the new system is operational, the automated gate system will provide a streamlined and fully integrated process from entry to loading or unloading.

Environmentally Friendlier

Another benefit of the automated gate is that it is more environmentally friendly, according to David Huck, Peel Ports’ Liverpool port director.

“We operate in an increasingly competitive market and our customers require logistics solutions that reduce costs, carbon emissions and congestion,” Huck said. “The continuing success of our company has always been drive by its ability to be forward-thinking, operating at the center of the supply chain and offering flexible, agile and cost-effective solutions to our customers. Hauler transactions will be fully integrated into our latest terminal operating systems, facilitating secure and efficient visits and minimizing turnaround times at our terminals.”

Tommi Pettersson, Kalmar’s VP for automation, said another objective was to ease congestion, especially when the capacity of the port is about to dramatically increase.

As a global leader in port automation we are able to provide Peel Ports with a seamless and integrated solution to help increase throughput and reduce congestion,” Pettersson said. “With its optical character recognition, Kalmar SmartLane solution can automatically capture information from all trucks and containers entering and leaving the terminal, cutting operating costs and improving efficiency for all users.”

One of Many Solutions

Kalmar SmartPort gates can be used to drive greater efficiencies through process automation, resulting in lower overall operational costs, improved safety and better equipment availability, according to the company news release. Process automation solutions are designed to optimize the information flows within the terminal’s business processes to ensure the most efficient equipment utilization. They represent an accessible and fast way to get immediate productivity improvements for a relatively small initial investment.

In addition to SmartLane, Kalmar also sells SmartPath, SmartStack, SmartRail, SmartLift, SmartTruck, SmartQuay, SmartTrack and SmartFleet. These process automation solutions fit any size of terminal, any brand of equipment and any terminal operating system (TOS).

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