LINX Cargo Care CEO Anthony Jones has addressed the need for innovation during his keynote speech at the Shipping Australia Port Kembla Luncheon, held on Friday.
Mr Jones outlined several technological initiatives LINX is using to boost safety and efficiency.
He described a new system to measure logs with a device like a smartphone.
“We handle 31m logs, and it would shock most of the people in the room to know that every one of those logs had been measured by a steel ruler,” he said.
“It’s a huge manual task, and requires a huge amount of investment in safety.”
However a new system uses hand-held devices, much like an iPhone that takes a photo and measures the logs using a “very smart algorithm”.
“Measuring logs manually, there is an error rate in humans of around 15%-20%; the technology that we’ve rolled out has a 98% accuracy rate,” Mr Jones said.
“It takes away the whole issue not only from the safety point of view, but from a billing and inventory control issue for our customers.”
He also spoke about a virtual-reality safety training program the company was developing whereby participants can experience serious mishaps and have (simulated) containers dropped on them.
“It puts an image in your mind of a load suspended up in the air,” he said.
“People can become complacent throughout their careers,” Mr Jones said, explaining that people get used to, and complacent around, big and dangerous equipment over time.
“Doing safety engagement with people and saying ‘what do you think will get you killed today?’ they don’t think anything will get them killed,” he said.
“We’re trying to use virtual reality as an immersive way to say, ‘if you walk under this load and this load fell, this is what will happen to you’, giving people these shock experiences to actually change culture.”
Mr Jones said the technology soon would be rolled out.
Changing gears, another speaker at the luncheon, NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas, said Port Kembla would be the most “logistically efficient” second container terminal for New South Wales.
“Port Kembla has had approved plans for a very large container terminal since 2011,” she said.
Ms Calfas pointed out Port Kembla was closer to Sydney than Port of Newcastle.
And, finally, it was announced the Australian National Maritime Museum’s Container exhibition would be installed in Wollongong after it ends its 12-month tenure at Darling Harbour.