A game-changer port
“APM Terminals Maasvlakte II is clearly a game-changer port in the shipping industry,” says Kim Fejfer, CEO of APM Terminals.
“It is significantly safer for our people and all users of the port. It runs on a zero-emissions, sustainable business model that uses renewable energy. And equally important, our clients will experience higher productivity thanks to the automation. As the new pacesetter in our portfolio, we believe it will define our industry leadership in the years ahead,” he says.
The communication between the machines and the computers is stored in two data centres nearby, each the size of a large meeting room and consisting of eight server racks.
With each day of real operations this is a growing treasure trove of data for Process Excellence, a team comprised of experts in IT and operations that will be working continuously through every performance failure logged in the systems to find the root cause and fix it.
Fine-tuning over time
Based on the yard design and with full automation, Maasvlakte II eventually expects to be 25-50% better in terms of container moves per hour than any other terminal in Northern Europe. But it won’t happen right away – it will take time.
“We have a clear focus to deliver the perfect terminal, although the ultimate potential will not be realised on day one,” says Frank Tazelaar, Managing Director of APM Terminals Maasvlakte II.
“We have a plan to roll out more complex functionalities in software and advanced logistics concepts after achieving the stable baseline performance in real operations. Access to rich data will drive our continuous improvement going forward.”
Of course, having all the data doesn’t mean it’s going to be easier to achieve high performance from the MVII terminal, but it does make it easier to identify the causes of poor performance.
“Improving it from there is a different challenge because we may have to fix systems, reprogramme a vehicle, interview a crane operator or all of the above,” says William Rengelink, Technical Integration Manager for the project. “But no doubt having the data gives us a huge advantage for reaching our performance targets.”
Gaming with cranes
The IT teams aren’t the only new faces in the terminal office. No one is more surprised to be inside than the ship-to-shore crane drivers, now called Remote Operators. Eight of these workers (soon to be ten) occupy a space larger than the IT department.