Port of Savannah improves ship-to-shore with new process automation technology
Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), Brunswick, Ga., extended its use of process automation technology from Identec Solutions, Dallas, Texas, to support the operation of new ship-to-shore and rubber-tired gantry cranes at the Port of Savannah, Savannah, Ga.
GPA has been using Identec Solutions’ CTAS process automation technology, including RFID-based street truck identification, differential global positioning system position detection for rubber-tired gantry yard cranes and terminal vehicles and the port authority’s automated terminal asset management system (ATAMS), since 2008.
Under ATAMS, street trucks calling at GPA’s Garden City Terminal in Savannah are fitted with Identec Solutions’ active RFID tags, enabling trucks to be tracked in real-time as they enter, move around and exit the terminal. The system also optimizes the container hand-off process between street trucks and yard cranes, automatically identifying and locating trucks as they pull up alongside cranes and ‘promoting’ the correct job to the top of the list on the rubber-tired gantry driver’s in-cab screen. GPA supplies RFID tags to the trucking community, with over 11,000 now fitted, linked to a web access portal to pre-advise container deliveries and collections.
GPA will also install Identec Solutions’ automated container hand-off and job promotion system on 30 new rubber-tired gantry systems, and for the first time, on four new super post-panamax quay cranes. Key benefits of the system are increased crane productivity, quicker turn times for street trucks and internal terminal vehicles and improved worker safety, removing staff from the ground. The project is due to be completed by late summer 2016.
“Without using technology to gather any action data in a more automated way, we couldn’t grow efficiently. RFID and GPS are key enabling components that dovetail very well to our strategic development plan,” says Curtis Foltz, GPA executive director.