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Continuous growth in maritime trade requires that container handling operations become faster and more efficient. Due to the efficiency, reliability, and speed of automated operations, moving from conventional to automated operations is becoming an option of choice for an increasing number of terminal operators. Automated operations and equipment have unique infrastructure requirements that must be addressed by engineers during the design phase of terminal development.
Automated terminals consist of well-integrated systems. Different terminal elements, such as the ship-to-shore cranes and other container handling equipment, are operationally linked by a terminal operating system. For optimal performance, these elements and their related systems and infrastructure should not be designed separately and in isolation from each other. Frequently, a terminal owner decides to build a new automated terminal or convert an existing conventional terminal to automated operations, without selecting the future operator until late in the design phase or during construction. As a result, there is a risk gaps may develop between operational requirements and the terminal infrastructure that has been designed and/or constructed. The infrastructure designer’s knowledge of automated operations and functional equipment requirements is even more critical in these cases to minimize the potential of costly changes to the design or constructed terminal.
Requirements of the automated area, design of equipment rail support and allowable tolerance, soil settlement, drainage, pavement, personnel access and safety, security of the automated area, rescue of broken automated equipment, electrical and communication systems, ship-to-shore crane rail span and its landside operation, selection of appropriate wind load for crane infrastructure design for operating and non-operating conditions, construction phasing, and maintenance requirements are some of the interface elements between infrastructure design and automated operations that will be discussed in this paper.