Human plays a role

‘Technological advances in port and terminal operations (e.g. automation, ICT)’ is one of the answers to the question of “What impact will future developments in the port sector have on the port worker?”

The efficiency and effectiveness of cargo handling operations are crucial to the port’s competitiveness and its ability to generate wider economic effects including employment and value-added creation. The more the processes are automated the higher is the consistency, scalability and timeliness of the services. In a recent article by Jari Hämäläinen, Director Offering Development at Kalmar with Mikko Nurmi M.Sc. (Information Management), Creative Lead at Leadin automation and digitalisation is the central topic. As Container handling equipment has reached the era of automation and on the services side, digitalisation is now the leading theme throughout the customer lifecycle, the question is: Does digitalisation automatically lead to better services?

Firstly, it is emphasized that all improvement around digitalisation serves the aim of providing better services to the costumer.

We all now have a lot of data about our equipment, their performances and working environment. There is no more the problem of not having information exists, but the crucial issue is now having too much information with insufficient quality. Without a proper analysis, the data we have means nothing. Data must be turned into insights!

It is foreseen that the digitalisation will have a major impact on the container handling industry and all information on container terminal operations will be at one’s fingertips for real-time decision-making. This should not be seen as the end of development. Even with full automation, the “human element” remains important. Automated process do not solely enable services where exactly human plays an important role who needs to drive the development of new tools, technologies and applications – whether digital or not. It is the human who could figure out how to create value-adding activities. This could also be connected to one of the future trends on the port sector that future port workers need to be highly skilled but also multi-skilled including soft skills.

Source: Kalmarglobal, 2015

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