Norfolk Southern has contracted with Cargotec subsidiary Kalmar for four Kalmar SmartPower rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs) equipped with process automation technology. Delivery is scheduled to be completed by December 2019.
The SmartPower RTGs will be installed to improve capacity at two NS intermodal terminals: Landers (Chicago) and Rossville (Memphis). Two cranes will be installed at each terminal. Each will have a span of approximately 80 feet and will be equipped with Kalmar’s electro-mechanical anti-sway system and a rotating Bromma spreader.
The cranes will also feature several Kalmar SmartPort process automation technologies “for safer, faster and more efficient container handling,” the company said. These include SmartRail automated gantry steering; SmartStack to eliminate “lost” containers; and the SmartMap visualization tool. An optical character recognition solution will enable the cranes to automatically identify containers, while the user interface will support operators “to help streamline the stacking process, improve mobility and efficiency throughout the yard, and decrease truck waiting times.”
The SmartPower RTG uses up to 40 gallons less fuel per hour than most diesel RTGs on the market, “thanks to its significantly smaller diesel engine and intelligent power management system,” Kalmar noted.
In 2018 NS upgraded Landers to reduce the number of shifted containers, and to increase the speed of delivering the correct container to trucks. RTGs were deployed for the first time in early 2018, along with a Truck Dispatch Area (TDA), to eliminate congestion near container stacks. The railroad expected the changes to reduce average trucker dwell time for international import containers by 60%, while boosting container capacity and throughput by at least 100%.
“We are pleased to be able to continue our collaboration with Norfolk Southern and to support them with the optimization of their intermodal operations,” said Troy Thompson, Vice President Sales, Kalmar Americas. “The proven Kalmar SmartPower RTG provides the perfect balance between productivity and cost efficiency in a variety of container-handling applications.”