The highly automated HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA) introduces combined loading and discharging to ship dispatching. By the end of the year, the CTA will have implemented the innovative handling procedure Dual Cycle – as the first terminal worldwide, also in terms of transport between container gantry crane and block storage.
No way for nothing – that is the principle behind Dual Cycle. In traditional ship dispatching there are many empty trips, because ships are first discharged and then loaded. Simply put, a container gantry crane first lifts a container from the ship and then puts it on land on an automated
transporter (AGV) that brings the container to the storage block. Then the container gantry crane moves back to the ship without load to discharge the next container.
With the Dual Cycle the unnecessary empty trips are omitted. Because after putting the container on the AGV on land, the crane on its way back to the ship picks up another container that is loaded onto the ship.
This way with two movements of the container gantry crane, two containers are transported. In the conventional method, the crane performs the same action – that is the discharging and loading of two containers – in four moves. Thus Dual Cycle makes for a significant higher level of productivity. Even empty trips by the automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are avoided, because they bring one container to the container gantry crane and there receive another one, which they then transport to the storage block. That saves trips and resources.
“This is another big step in the continuing further development of the Container Terminal Altenwerder”, says Dr. Stefan Behn, HHLA executive board member for the Container Segment. “With combined loading and discharging, we can speed up the handling process and further increase our productivity in terms of ship dispatching at the terminal. Thanks to Dual Cycle, in the same amount of time we are handling more and are saving energy.”
Since January, the CTA has already been successfully testing Dual Cycle. By the end of the year the implementation of combined loading and discharging cycles should be complete. This will make the CTA the first terminal in the world that uses Dual Cycle not just at the container gantry crane, but also during transport between container gantry crane and block storage.
The project Dual Cycle is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as part of ISETEC II, which supports the research and development of innovative technologies for the German seaports.