Distributed Control Systems

Making a world of difference in ports

The power of ports: connecting the global economy

Every year, about 11 billion tons of goods that we rely on in our everyday lives – food, clothing, medicine and much more – are shipped by sea. That’s about as much as 50 million blue whales! To transport this vast amount of essentials around the world, more than 17 million containers are filled nearly 800 million times per year. With so much cargo, container terminals often operate 24/7. ABB solutions and services help ports to improve capacity, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of operations. 

Distributed Control Systems

Getting goods from the maker to the mover to the user

Much must fall in place for goods and materials to get to their destination, be it the end user or an industrial customer. Containers must be kept intact, with temperatures controlled and doors sealed. They must be stowed securely on ships, trains and trucks.

Container handling in ports means moving heavy loads with heavy equipment through heavy traffic. The goal is to handle as many containers as possible as quickly as possible, reducing the time ships and vehicles spend at the terminal while keeping the contents secure. ABB solutions such as automation for ship-to-shore and stacking cranes, gate automation and optical character recognition help to move and track containers from vessels to terminal gates, in a controlled and safe way.
Making a world of difference

Efficient and safe cargo handling

ABB optimizes crane operations by automating tasks that were previously done manually. This improves the overall consistency and reliability of port operations.

In addition to helping to secure cargo, ABB keeps operators that handle this cargo safe by automating repetitive processes and separating humans from machines. With ABB’s remote control solution, operators can manage complex tasks of loading and discharging containers to and from ships from the comfort of an office, rather than in a cabin high up on a crane.

Cruise ship equiped with Azipod propulsion

Cargo vessels are becoming bigger – one can carry 24,000 containers which, when lined up end-to-end, extend over 140 kilometers – about the distance it would take to drive from New York City to Philadelphia, from Paris to Brussels or from Shanghai to Hang-zhou! Due to the sheer size of these ships, it is harder for drivers in a cabin to get a complete overview of their operations. With ABB remote control solutions, drivers get visual aids through video and support through automation, making it easier to perform operations.

Icebreaker navigrating through ice

Easing energy and environmental costs

Energy cost, operational efficiency and environmental compliance are high priorities for port operators, and ABB is at the forefront of helping them achieve these goals.

ABB provides complete port power infrastructure, such as container terminal electrification for cranes and refrigeration racks. ABB shore connection allows ships in port to switch to cleaner grid energy. This electrical infrastructure is monitored and controlled through digital solutions that help reduce energy costs by comparing consumption against targets, and acting on areas of improvement. ABB’s planning and scheduling applications manage consumption peaks, while energy monitoring and reporting functions quickly and accurately analyze energy use. These solutions then balance energy consumption with supply to stabilize operations and cut energy costs, also helping users to obtain the best energy prices.

Our automation, electrification and remote solutions for container handling help customers reduce congestion and emissions, and improve employee safety. The electrically powered cargo handling equipment cuts air, noise and light pollution in container terminals and surrounding areas.

It’s imPORTant

The world depends on productive ports to get goods from wherever they come from, to wherever they need to be. In a world of motion, ABB makes a world of difference by ensuring safer and faster cargo handling, reliably and with as little environmental impact as possible.

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How we make a world of difference