by Michael Jordan
For a dockside container crane, the future starts tomorrow and will last until 2025 or 2030. This is the reasonable life of a container crane. The crane may be operational for 40 years, but the useful life will not be more than 25 or 30 years, and even then the crane will need occasional upgrades to perform to modern standards.
We are now in a state of rapid change. Ships are larger and will continue to grow. Concomitantly, production must increase to maintain reasonable turnaround times. Laser and optical technologies also continue to develop, making current systems obsolete. Cranes ordered today must be capable of growing as new ships grow and technology evolves. The cranes must be future-proof.
But if today’s crane is built large enough to serve tomorrow’s ships using future technology, the crane will not perform well on today’s ship with today’s technology.
This paper presents our expectations of the future and some ideas on how to cope with them without paying now.