ABB Crane OCR to improve safety, efficiency and data quality at SSA Manzanillo International Terminal in Panama

  • ABB’s optical character recognition (OCR) system will be implemented on 21 ship-to-shore cranes at SSA Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) to automate container information handling
  • All key container data transmitted to Terminal Operating System (TOS) in near real-time
  • Long-term ABB crane automation partner extends scope to include Crane OCR

15 June 2022 – All 21 ship-to-shore cranes at Panama’s Manzanillo International Terminal will be equipped with ABB Crane OCR technology, including container feature recognition capabilities. Building on the long-term relationship between ABB and SSA Marine, the contract follows the successful implementation of ABB Crane OCR at five SSA terminals in the US.

SSA Manzanillo International Terminal in Panama – Image credit MIT Panama

ABB Crane OCR automates the process of recording information of containers loaded and discharged by ship-to-shore cranes, significantly improving data quality. The availability of centralized data benefits planning at the berth and throughout the terminal handling process. The container feature recognition capabilities leverage the latest artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to continuously enhance already high read rates.

ABB’s Crane OCR solution for MIT Panama includes OCR hardware and software for container number identification, a multi-purpose camera system which detects door direction, bolt seals, and hazardous material labels, a damage inspection imaging system as well as terminal tractor numbers identification (MatchMaker). In addition, ABB’s XClerk Exception Management System will be implemented allowing any exceptions to be reviewed and resolved efficiently from a remote location.

“We have been relying on ABB technologies and expertise for more than two decades and are happy to continue our mutually beneficial relationship with this OCR implementation,” said Manuel Pinzon, General Manager, MIT Panama. “We expect the solution to deliver significant benefits, enabling a safer work environment for our employees, while also increasing operational efficiencies”.

“We are delighted to add OCR to the range of ABB crane equipment at MIT,” said Richard Micheli, Product Line Manager OCR, ABB Marine & Ports. “By adding easy to install and maintain ABB Crane OCR, MIT Panama will improve data quality and enhance container handling productivity to meet the demands of growing container traffic and vessel capacity. Greater efficiency is also one of the keys of safer, greener port operations.”

ABB’s collaboration with MIT Panama on crane automation extends back to 1999 with STS cranes and automatic cantilever stacking cranes, including pioneering remote operations of STS cranes in 2010.


ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

ABB’s Process Automation business is a leader in automation, electrification and digitalization for the process and hybrid industries. We serve our customers with a broad portfolio of products, systems, and end-to-end solutions, including our # 1 distributed control system, software, and lifecycle services, industry-specific products as well as measurement and analytics, marine and turbocharging offerings. As the global #2 in the market, we build on our deep domain expertise, diverse team and global footprint, and are dedicated to helping our customers increase competitiveness, improve their return on investment and run safe, smart, and sustainable operations.