"Unmanned port" is behind the popularity of port automation projects.
Take Rotterdam port as an example, the automation of the port can be traced back to the 90s of last century, but the construction of Maasvlakte 2, an automated center terminal project, did not begin until 2008. In December 2014, the fully automated equipment of the Maersk container terminal ushered in the landing of the first ship. It was put into operation in April 2015 with a cost of 500 million euros.
In the new terminal, the robot is not only in the container crane loading and unloading cargo tracking system, such as alternative human, even responsible for container transport to inland from the dock side by truck or train operation robot. These systems replace those highly paid and highly skilled personnel. The average annual salary of these stevedores in the United States can reach US $150 thousand (about 975 thousand yuan).
The impact on the workers is self-evident.
Rotterdam port Niek Stam union representative said that the initial loading port, 5 million TEU (TEU) automation terminal Maasvlakte 2, will only be used as artificial supplement, but the reality is that the robot has begun to erode the old terminal handling capacity of 12 million TEU. So the worst possibility is that over the next few years, 800 or 4000 redundant jobs will be found.
"Big ship" forced port to improve efficiency
In China, the application of port automation projects is equally common.
In March this year, the country's first, is the world's first fourth generation automated terminal - Xiamen ocean terminal (a) began testing automation equipment system.
China's largest automated dock - Yangshan four phase project, is scheduled to be put into trial production in 2017.
In Liu Bin's view, in the past, China's foreign trade volume is small, domestic trade is relatively small, so it is possible to shoulder the burden. But now the annual throughput of the port is about 10000000000 tons, if there is no large-scale automation equipment, it can not be completed.
He cited an example of iron ore, bulk cargo handling, and now basically automated completion. About 350 meters long, 80 meters wide, carrying 400 thousand tons of cargo ship from Brazil to Chinese, if the 400 thousand tons of handling in accordance with traditional methods, in the 80s day handling capacity is very low, at least to remove nearly 40 days. Now the automatic operation will be completed in three days.
The loading capacity of ocean going vessels has become larger and larger, forcing ports to improve handling efficiency.
Liu Bin said, in the middle of 80s, the container ship is 3000TEU, 6000TEU, 8000TEU, 10000TEU, now has a 18000TEU container ship, it must improve the degree of automation to meet the requirements of the loading and unloading efficiency. Now, 12000 and 13000TEU container ships also need unloading in Dalian Port for two days.
Of course, "unmanned harbor" also needs people to manage.
Qingdao port stakeholders, for example, containerization of the shipping industry will use some of the artificial processes ahead of schedule, in the factory will be loaded into the container goods, you do not have to use manual transportation on the pier. The higher the containerization, the fewer people will use on the docks. Such as grain filling requires a lot of manpower, containerization, these manufacturers only need to advance the goods into the container can.
In addition, counter-terrorism and anti smuggling now require deep human involvement.
Insiders pointed out that the safety of the port is very important, no less than the airport, the United States, the Middle East, Europe, are very cautious. After the unmanned port, through the electronic, information-based management, the anti-terrorism task is more arduous. Smuggling through containers (or even smuggling) is also a risk facing the port, which in many cases is subject to human inspection. If fully automated, security risks will increase, so in the current situation, this link is still the most rational combination of people and machines.
"This is a paradox, both automated and unmanned, and will have to be checked manually. In the future, robots will be more likely to replace manual labor, but ultimately they will have to be programmed by people, which will lead to a new industry." Liu Bin says.
According to him, now the employment structure has changed port, the staff are mostly college students, and even master, doctor.