n Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Improving performance at the Durban container terminal through automation : urban and rural engineering

Volume 23, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



The Durban Container Terminal (DCT) is currently the biggest and busiest container terminal in Africa and handles about 2.7 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) a year. The DCT handles approximately 70% of South Africa's containers and generates 60% of South Africa's revenue (Port of Durban 2014). Increasing the automation level of a terminal with products that automate a single part of the operation or the whole process is recognised as the next step towards improving performance at today's container terminals. The benefits of automation include lower operational costs and improved terminal productivity, capacity, safety and security. Automating an existing straddle carrier terminal is a complex project that requires expertise, careful planning, a capacity for wide-ranging systems integration and the ability to consider numerous factors beyond technical implementation. Besides the actual automated system, there is also extensive change management within the entire organisation of the terminal, as operating an automated terminal requires a thorough change of business processes, as well as different skill sets for the people operating the terminal.

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