In the biggest port of the world are also the biggest shipping companies of the world. P&O, Nedlloyd, Maersk, ECT and so on. In this paragraph we'll pay attention to some of these companies; describing their function and responsibilities in the port.
ECT is short for European Combined Terminals. ECT is one of the world's largest container terminal operators and is privately owned by shareholders. From 1984 they were first to introduce terminal automation, such as double hoist gantry cranes, multi trailer systems and computer-aided shipplanning. If you combine this special technology with their skilled staff you get a company who is responsible for 2 million TEU's in the year of 1994. So what does ECT exactly do? Well, they transship goods in a fast, economical way. If for instance a ship with 25 containers docks at ECT, a container terminal will start to unload the freight immediately as the ship comes to a halt. By this time the ECT knows what should be done with the containers and what their contents are, which is important if you are handling (flammable) chemicals.
If for instance 10 of the containers should be loaded on a train, 10 on a truck and 5 stored for later transshipment, this can be easily realized with one of the terminals on the site of ECT. The 5 containers that should be stored, get loaded on remote controlled vehicles which are guided by the mega-computers of ECT. As you can see very little work is done by men. Men's function consists of trouble-shooting and observing how the computers are doing their job. That's why some of their terminals are called ghost-terminals. But don't get the wrong picture, ECT still employs more than 2500 people.
Maersk is one of the most if not the most important container transporter in the world. With his fleet of about a hundred ships it is responsible for a huge part of the total container transportation.