Automated Container Terminal with Mobile Devices of Enhanced UX

By | 01/09/2014

Manned automation expands with larger vessels

According to an ECSA report, as compared to January 2005, January 2014 witnessed an increase of 72% in deadweight tonnage of EU controlled fleet and an increase of 74% in gross tonnage. Meanwhile, the number of vessels in possession increased by only 31%. And Oxford Economics commented that it was interpreted as “reflecting the trend towards larger ships”. Following the trend, terminals continue to put in efforts to raise the operational efficiency and ensure worker safety. Prompt and safe cargo handling for very large ships could be accomplished through the full automaton, which improves infrastructure and unloading system by adopting automation equipment such as automated cranes and unmanned vehicles. However, such a project accompanying huge investment is hard to implement except in large terminals with enormous cargo volume such as Maasvlakte1 and Maasvlakte2, which is going to open in November 2014, both in Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. For the same reason, most terminals give priority to a  Semi automated  system supported by men. Because it could minimize initial investment.

A Semi Automated System requires increased use of mobile devices and enhanced UX

Upgrading productivity in a semi automated system become possible when workers accurately receive job orders efficiently planned by TOS (Terminal Operating System), appropriately perform them, and provide timely feedback on them. In this process, industrial mobile devices serve as important media that enable effective control by setting up an efficient connection between specific areas of terminal operation and the control tower. Productivity increases as the devices enhance communication among the control tower operator and the vehicle/crane drivers etc.
The mobile devices used in terminals have a strict requirement, as they would have to deal with harsher conditions than they do in an ordinary environment. While providing necessary information, they must ensure easy, intuitive understanding, and also have to secure excellent visibility so that operators can quickly figure out delivered information in all outdoor environments. Now, a lot of consumer mobile devices are in the race to develop ever more convenient user experience (UX), but the mobile devices for terminals with a strict  requirement remain in its infancy, just providing basic information. This is because not much effort has been put into figuring out how information could be effectively delivered to users, while the erstwhile focus has stayed on distribution and application of the system. Lately, however, we have witnessed in the mobile devices for container terminals a trend for upgrading user convenience based on UX.

Enhanced UX as demonstrated in CyberLogitec’s selection as IDEA Finalist

Recently, CyberLogitec, which specializes in TOS and terminal automation, was selected as a finalist with its VMT (Vehicle Mounted Terminal) User Interface designed for Eagle Eye and submitted to IDEA, one of the world’s major design awards. The design was highly appreciated for its improved UI, which, unlike the text delivery for conventional terminals, ensures intuitive delivery of needed information with the help of graphic. As mobile devices for container terminals in turn set great store by design and user experience, UX design is about to open up an era of UX design for terminals.
Eagle Eye VMT, CyberLogitec's Selection as IDEA Finalist

Eagle Eye VMT, CyberLogitec’s Selection as an IDEA Finalist

Eagle Eye VMT, a Mobile Device for Terminals with Enhanced UX

Eagle Eye VMT, CyberLogitec’s Selection as an IDEA Finalist


Posted by Ho-Seok Lee, a general manger, who has developed business plans and sales strategy in technology business. Be sure to follow me on Linkedin.


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