Collaboration along on the supply chain will be key to the seamless cargo operations of the future, but at the moment container terminals are failing to meet the challenge of bigger ships and consignment sizes per call.
“In the largest container ship category, there has been a slight decline in berth productivity in the past few years,” Hans Augusteijn, Maersk Line head of network and procurement for North Europe, told delegates at the TOC 2015 Container Supply Chain Conference in Rotterdam.
He said improved productivity was crucial to ensuring the economies of scale achieved by using bigger ships and that benefitted not only shipping lines but the rest of the supply chain.
Speakers agreed that more collaboration between lines and terminals was key to improving efficiency and delegates pointed out that container lines could improve their organisation of how containerswere stowed, which was one of the factors causing delays.
Frank Tazelaar, managing director of the fully automated Maasvlakte II terminal, said integration with the hinterland supply chain had been a key element in preparing the terminal’s launch in May 2015. “Technology is less critical to future efficiency than world-class interface management,” he told TOC delegates, adding that in the run up to Maasvlakte II’s launch, the terminal had reached data-sharing agreements with its truck, barge and rail operators.
“The fact is, we are dependent on data from the hinterland to run the terminal efficiently,” said Tazelaar.