Dutch VDL to deliver 80 autonomous trucks for Singapore
VDL Automated Vehicles, a division of Dutch bus and car (Nedcar) builder VDL got an order from Singapore harbour operator PSA for 80 full autonomous container trucks. By 2023 they should all drive 24/7 on the harbour terrain moving containers.
The Dutch already delivered in 2015 two of these robot-trucks for an extended test at the harbour of Singapore. Apparently with success, as the latter decided to order 80 more of them. How much money is involved with this deal was not communicated. Only that it amounts to ‘several million euros’.
Up to 65 tons
The AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) is 15 metres long, 2 m high and can transport up to 65 tons. That’s the weight of eight city buses without passengers, VDL states in a press release. It has a top speed of 25 km/h and is fully electric. It can move autonomously across the container terminal, guided by computer.
VDL Automated Vehicles, based in Breda, is a coöperation between several VDL companies. It already delivered large numbers of autonomous trucks for chemical giant BASF in Ludwigshafen (Germany) and Europe Container Terminals (ECT) in Rotterdam for instance.
In Singapore it received orders earlier from Belgian logistics group Katoen Natie. Katoen Natie sees a big gain in labour costs.
“It takes 48 drivers to run 12 trucks, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We will never replace all human drivers, but this will bring a substantial reduction in labour cost”, Koen Cardon, Katoen Natie’s Singapore CEO, said in 2017 when the project was announced.