Director Simulation at HPC Hamburg Port Consulting GmbH
Making Automation a Success
While automation of marine container terminals is a proven and widely applied concept in ports, automation of intermodal freight terminals is not yet as established. Moreover, due to different framework conditions and a more intense human-machine interaction, so far only very few terminals have been planned and realized with some degree of process and equipment automation. In view of the benefits offered by automation, such as improvements in work safety and labor cost savings, it is becoming an increasingly important trend for intermodal terminals.
In recent years, HPC Hamburg Port Consulting GmbH, a subsidiary of the Hamburg Port and Logistics Corporation (HHLA) and a sister company of METRANS, has been involved in more than 50 planning and development projects for intermodal rail terminals globally, including several automated facilities in Europe and North America. Based on this background and lessons learned in these projects, trends, challenges and factors for success of automation for intermodal freight terminals are discussed and presented on basis of selected sample projects.
It is started with an overview on current status of intermodal terminal automation, discussing technical and operational challenges for automation and presenting realized and projected terminals with notable degree of automation. Thereafter, current automation potential is discussed, including benefits of automation and proven areas for automation at intermodal freight terminals. Ultimately, HPC’s successful automation approach is presented, including the core elements terminal planning, simulation, process modelling and integration management.
Dr. Nils Kemme is director simulation and terminal operations consultant at HPC Hamburg Port Consulting GmbH, an independent subsidiary of HHLA Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (Hamburg Port and Logistics Corporation), the largest and most diversified port operating company in Hamburg.
Based on his work experience from the HHLA Terminals, he has been involved in many automation and intermodal terminal planning projects for more than twelve years all over the world. Combining operational terminal experience and comprehensive simulation knowhow, holding a PhD degree in this field, Dr. Kemme is the director of HPC’s simulation team. As such, he has over the last six years planned and optimized terminal design and operations in more than 30 simulation projects on five continents, including the concession winning concept design for a fully automated container terminal in Australia, the planning and optimization of a semi-automated intermodal hub-terminal in the US, and the development of fully-automated tri-modal terminal in Switzerland.