Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2018.
Automated Stacking Cranes (ASC) are rail-mounted gantry cranes managing stacks of containers that are usually aligned perpendicular to the pier. They have become an important component of container terminal automation by allowing faster and continuous stacking, repositioning, and retrieval of containers. The above photo depicts an ASC control station where an operator is monitoring a series of container stacks at Manzanillo International Terminal (Colon, Panama). The system is entirely automated, and the operator will manually intervene if the crane cannot latch to the container anchor points within a defined margin. Above the station is a virtual representation of the whole container yard; its digital twin.