APM Terminals is planning to use unmanned straddle carriers at Los Angeles, a pilot project on a 100-acre parcel at its Pier 400 terminal. The unmanned straddle carriers will bring lower upfront costs because they don’t require extensive modifications to existing terminals.
This is a sign that US West Coast terminals are embracing automation in order to handle the calls from mega ships. If the auto-strad model proves to work efficiently in this pilot project, it could be scaled for the demands of other terminals on the West Coast. On the East and Gulf coasts, opposition from labour organizations has reduced the amount of automation, with the International Longshoremen’s Association not allowing the use of automated horizontal transportation such as auto-strads or automated guided vehicles.
However, the semi-automated terminals in New York-New Jersey and Virginia have incorporated efficient automated stacking cranes in the yards.
Source: Chamber of Shipping