Automation verses National Development Plan
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The Durban Container Terminal (DCT) is currently the biggest and busiest container terminal in Africa and handles about 2.7-million TEUs a year. DCT handles approximately 70% of South Africa’s containers and generates 60% of South Africa’s revenue (Port of Durban, 2014). The industry move to automate is being driven primarily, though, by the need to efficiently handle big ships. This requires a step up in innovation. Increasing the automation level of a terminal with products that automate a single part of the operation or the whole process is recognised as the next step towards improving performance at today’s container terminals. The benefits of automation include lower operational costs as well as improved terminal productivity, capacity, safety and security. Besides the actual automated system, there is also extensive change management within the entire organisation of the terminal, as operating an automated terminal requires a thorough change of business processes as well as different skill sets for the people operating the terminal. The biggest hurdle though is embedding this concept in South African ports considering the fact that South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) stipulates that government’s desire to increase employment from 13 million in 2010 to 24 million in 2030 (The National Planning Commission 2012: 34).
Naicker, R, and Allopi, D. 2015. Automation verses National Development Plan. International Journal of Engineering Sciences & Management Research. 2(9): 58-62.