Automation Technology at Port Botany case study

The adoption of automation technology at Port Botany is one of the first and largest operations of its kind anywhere in Australia.

This initiative, undertaken by the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney, and stevedore industry partners Patrick and Hutchinson Ports, is an example of industry-led innovation that is enhancing the efficiency of infrastructure in NSW.

Transport for NSW supports these initiatives and is contributing through:

  • A technology program – a complement to the expansion of the port footprint, ship berthing capacity and the imminent duplication of the dedicated freight rail line.
  • Reform of the operating model – consultation on regulation reform and operating standards has enabled industry to apply global innovations for operational efficiency, safety, reliability and more secure investment return.
  • Automation of stevedoring operations – more efficient and faster loading and unloading shipping containers has been essential in managing increases in demand for export and import freight movement as well as future proofing the economic prosperity of NSW.

Transport for NSW has also established a dedicated department, the Cargo Movement Coordinating Centre (CMCC), and is investing approximately $10 million to better integrate new capacity and demand with the road and train networks and operators in the interest of safety and efficiency.

One of the primary focus areas is applying technology to optimise capacity and operator collaboration for better congestion and safety outcomes, both in and around port districts. Technology features highly in this investment and we are working with:

  • Sensor Dynamics for Truck and Container Tracking using licence plate recognition for vehicle identification and Data Robots for data analytics and predictive information to assist in further strategic decision making in truck marshalling and scheduling, routing and capacity planning.
  • 4Tel to replace our Operational Performance Management System with a more robust system that will improve monitoring, data, reporting and user interface.

And now, through the Single Port Community System, we are looking for partners to explore Blockchain and middleware solutions to integrate multiple IT systems for the benefit for the entire port community.