Rotterdam seeking new type of AGV for CER

Rotterdam Port Authority (HbR) has issued a market exploration request for the autonomous vehicles it wants to see deployed on the Container Exchange Route (CER) on the two Maasvlaktes.[1] Potential suppliers addressed include companies not currently associated with AGVs in container terminals, but already making progress with autonomous trucks, such as Volvo, Mercedes and Scania, HbR's CEO, Allard Castelein, told WorldCargo News. "We're seeking an innovative type of AGV," said Castelein. "Double-stack capabilities would be welcomed and considered. We would like workable designs by mid-2020.

We want to find out whether the solution that we have in mind is actually feasible. We would not launch a tender procedure for something that nobody can or will deliver as yet, but if Columbus's Egg does emerge, we plan to issue the official tender by mid-2020." He acknowledged that the AGVs envisaged would ideally have a higher travel speed than the speed of AGVs at container terminals, but declined to put a number on it.

Castelein's comments vary with the earlier CER iteration, where there was talk of autonomous trucks and chassis, as still depicted in official CER impressions. However, it is important to recognise that HbR wants to avoid a "rash" investment in what may be a "novelty" in 2021 - when the CER is slated to open as early as Q1 - only to be overtaken by more efficient autonomous machines later. Fostering its claim to be the world's most intelligent port IT-wise, HbR clearly wants to set the trend with a "next level" AGV for the CER.

The 14-km long track will be the world's first self-contained container transport corridor with no public roadway access or egress.

References

  1. ^ the autonomous vehicles it wants to see deployed on the Container Exchange Route (CER) on the two Maasvlaktes. (www.worldcargonews.com)

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