In Los Angeles where we’re based, the issue of automation on the waterfront has always been a contentious one. In countries like Singapore and China, automation on terminals increases throughput. Cranes which load and unload ships, move containers around the dock and transfer them to and from railcars are automated, monitored and move in concert. As ships grow larger and carry more cargo, solutions other than throwing more humans at a problem must be found. APM Terminals, one of the terminal operators at the Port of Los Angeles, wants to bring automation to their terminal within, what they believed, were the terms of the agreement with the ILWU, the union representing longshoremen.
The Port of LA Harbor Commission voted 3-2 in favor of approving a coastal development permit which would allow APM to begin automating parts of the terminal with automated straddle carriers. A member of the Los Angeles City Council has announced his opposition to the vote and plans to block it from moving forward with the full Los Angeles City Council. Click the button below to read the latest from American Shipper.