Sources: Journal of Commerce; Moffat & Nichol; Moody’s Investors Service.
Notes: Supercargo is a shipboard representative of the cargo owners. A signalman is a worker providing guidance for crane operators. A swingmen directs traffic under cranes so that vehicles are properly aligned. A container handler is a person taking care of the latching and unlatching of containers. Figures are for a berth of five portainers. Conventional assumes eight Utility Tractor Rig (UTR) drivers, four swingmen under the hook, two crane operators, and one signalman per gang. Automated assumes Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs).
Efficiencies and productivity derived from automation are in part attributed to lower labor requirements, reducing operational costs, and the potential for errors and accidents. On a per dock crane basis (portainer), automation can reduce around 50 to 60% of the labor requirements.
For semi-automated container terminals, horizontal transport is performed by tractor drivers, which usually involves five to eight drivers per portainer. For a conventional container yard, operating four RTGs for each portainer requires two to four workers. Yard automation allows one supervisor to manage three to four RTGs.