Super efficient Australian ports are boosting exports - and our economy

Super efficient Australian ports are boosting exports - and our economy article image

Which country is leading the world when it comes to port automation and cargo handling solutions?

The answer is simple … it’s Australia, says Peter McLean, Senior Vice President, Kalmar Asia Pacific.

“If you count the number of boxes (TEUs) moved at Australian ports each year, Australia is a very small player,” says Mr McLean.

“But when you look at port efficiency at automated terminals, it would be the most advanced in the world,” he says.

Mr McLean, who is based in Singapore, was in Sydney recently with Kalmar ANZ Vice President John Payne, for the launch of Kalmar’s new Essential range of mobile equipment and TL2 terminal tractor.

The new range has been designed specifically for ports in the APAC region.

Kalmar has been a key player in boosting efficiency and productivity at all of Australia’s major ports.

An integral arm of the global Cargotec group, Kalmar provides cargo handling solutions and services to ports, terminals, distribution centres and heavy industry.

World’s most automated terminal

With its headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, Kalmar employs over 12,500 people and in 2016 boasted sales totalling about EUR3.5 billion.

In Australia, Kalmar has nearly 160 employees and has been operating more than 20 years.

“Our clients are all the major stevedore companies in Australia,” says Mr McLean.

“In fact, there isn’t a stevedore business in Australia we don’t have some sort of relationship with.”

According to Mr McLean, the Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) at Port Melbourne is the world’s most automated terminal.

VICT is the largest container and general cargo port in Australia with a capacity of 2.6 million TEUs a year.

State-of-the-art equipment

“Nearly all of the equipment was supplied by Kalmar,” he says proudly.

“It’s the only terminal in the world that has ALPs (Automatic Lashing Platforms).”

This is the world’s first fully automated twistlock handling system that removes the need for manual handling of twistlocks during the load and discharge process.

The manual handling of centre twistlocks on twin and twin-tandem lifts is particularly dangerous and only possible if the containers are first placed on a rack.

Focus on safety

The ALP system not only increases productivity, it also improves terminal safety.

“Safety has always been an important focus for Kalmar,” Mr McLean says. “And an automated environment is a lot safer.”

It is also more energy efficient (machines can operate 24/7 with reduced lighting using minimal power). There is also a big push for more electric powered machinery at ports, which will further reduce fuel costs.

Australian ports have embraced automation through economic necessity, says Mr McLean.

“It has been driven largely by the high cost of doing business in Australia.

“And because our volumes are low and labour costs are high, we need to be more efficient than anyone else in the world.”

High quality and excellent reliability

Mr McLean says the latest Kalmar Essential range and TL2 terminal tractor will help to further improve port efficiency in Australia.

“It provides customers with everything they expect from Kalmar – including high quality, excellent reliability and efficient performance – at a competitive level.”

The range was developed in close consultation with Kalmar’s client base.

“We have been developing our products based on our customers’ need and will continue to do so.

“We have always sought to listen to our customers and take their feedback seriously.”

The launch of the new range was held in conjunction with the NTP Forklifts Australia Open Day. NTP Forklifts has been one of Kalmar Australia’s authorised dealers since 2014.

Impressive range

Based on Kalmar’s proven G- generation platform, the Essential range includes reachstackers, empty container handlers and forklifts.

The Essential range of reachstackers (DRU450-570) comprises four models, with lifting capacities ranging from 45 to 57 tonnes.

Kalmar Essential range of empty container handlers (DCU80-100) offers a choice of three different lifting capacities – 8, 9 and 10 tonnes – and four different mast heights each with different stacking capabilities.

During the event, customers had the opportunity to speak to our experts and be guided through the latest features of the newest equipment to hit the Australian market. This event was an extension to Kalmar’s launch event held in Hong Kong last November.

Load sensing hydraulic system

All Essential range reachstackers and empty container handlers come fitted with a load sensing hydraulic system, which measures the load and applies the right amount of power to move it efficiently.

The Essential range of forklifts (DCG100-180T) comprises 12 models, with capacities ranging from 10 to 18 tons that can be customised with a variety of power, mast, cabin and safety options.

All Kalmar Essential range machines feature an easy-maintenance electrical system, common driver interface and high-quality components.

The TL2 is the latest addition to Kalmar’s family of terminal tractors to withstand demanding operating conditions. It is built on Kalmar’s trusted platform and features a robust chassis, common electrical system and ground- accessible service points for easy maintenance and a common driver interface.

Huge potential

All new Kalmar machines are compatible with Kalmar SmartFleet, a powerful equipment monitoring and optimisation tool that makes it easy to analyse performance data, as well as helps to further improve efficiency and productivity.

Mr McLean is confident in coming years every major port in the world will have some form of automation.

“Australia has huge potential and will continue to lead the way.

“It is only limited by your imagination.”

The Kalmar Essential range of mobile equipment and TL2 terminal tractor are now available in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.


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