Optical character recognition (OCR) is becoming more widely used in ports around the world to automate operations, according to a report released by the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA).
The report, OCR in Ports and Terminals
, is the fourth information paper to be published by PEMA, and the third such to be issued by PEMA’s technology committee. Previous publications include papers on the role and adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID), advances in port equipment to improve energy and environmental efficiency, and container terminal yard automation.
The OCR report found that the technology, which was once primarily used to automate terminal gate operations, is spreading to other areas of terminal operation.
“OCR is also finding a growing role to help terminals automate business processes, equipment and container identification in the yard, at the quay and in intermodal rail operations,” PEMA said.
The report discusses past, current and future global adoption trends since OCR was first introduced in Asian container ports in the late 1908s, describes the various OCR technologies in use today and how they function, and reviews benefits and return on investment (ROI) scenarios.
“The purpose of this paper – and the previous documents it complements – is to provide a reliable source of information about the role of advanced technologies in supporting improved efficiency, safety, security and sustainability at the world’s ports and terminals,” said Allen Thomas, chairman of PEMA’s technology committee. - Eric Johnson