In some regions personnel costs are a significant factor in container terminal economics. Furthermore, it is sometimes difficult to recruit terminal tractor drivers. Under these circumstances, automation can be an attractive option. In fact, Terberg is convinced that in future automated container yard operation will become widespread.
As a family-owned business which always takes a long-term view we have committed to a substantial research and development project in this area. The first result of the project, AutoTUG, the world’s first automated yard tractor, was introduced at the TOC container supply chain trade show in Amsterdam, in June 2017.
AutoTUG can operate without major changes to the infrastructure of a terminal and allows you to introduce automation gradually and flexibly, in parallel with manual operation. Benefits of automated operation include more efficient loading and unloading, lower personnel costs, improved safety, reduced CO2 emissions and more.
As each container terminal is unique, we tailor the AutoTUG software to your operations and yard management software. This ensures you get the best from the tractors and that they will interface efficiently with other equipment on your site, including tractors with human drivers.
The first AutoTUG model to be offered is based on our successful YT terminal tractor. It can automatically drive around the terminal to transport containers between the cranes and the container yard, and also couple/uncouple trailers automatically. AutoTUG determines its position using transponders embedded into the yard surface, a system which has long been proven in practice. This model is optimised for deployment at container terminals and distribution centres. One of the strengths of the AutoTUG concept is that it can easily be introduced at existing (brownfield) terminals without requiring major infrastructure changes.
A closer look
AutoTUG is available with a cab, for operations where there is occasionally the need for a human driver, and as a cabless model for automated operation only. As the tractors are used with conventional trailers you can upgrade your terminal by simply installing a grid of transponders in the yard surface, which can be done quickly at relatively low cost. AutoTUG is also fitted with a collision avoidance scanner so it can stop in time if there are any unexpected obstructions on the route specified by the terminal management software.
An AutoTUG can position its trailer accurately and parallel with a crane to collect or deliver a container. It can also couple automatically to a parked trailer: a camera recognises the corners of the trailer and determines the position of the kingpin. The only modification a trailer needs to be compatible with AutoTUG is to apply markers to its corners to make them clearly visible.
AutoTUG’s software can be tailored to a terminal’s operating procedures and will be supported by consultancy services to optimise navigation, efficiency and the interface to the terminal management software.
Operates on normal yard pavements
A combination of an AutoTUG and a trailer has a much lower axle load than most other automated container-handling solutions. This means it can operate on normal yards and does not need a specially reinforced pavement. AutoTUG tractors also benefit from the proven Terberg advantages of reliability, low fuel consumption and ease of maintenance.
In short, AutoTUG is an effective solution for automating both brownfield and greenfield terminals, using proven technology and at a lower cost than other options.
- AUTOTUG is a 100% Terberg product
- Proven concept
- Excellent after sales/service support
- Lowest OPEX as a result of optimized navigation software
- Highest availability
- Competitive CAPEX
- Relatively easy implementation at new and existing terminals
Terberg is the forerunner in terminal tractor automation.