How CWS can significantly improve port efficiency at your terminal

What is CWS?

CWSis a highly accurate load measurement solution for container weighing, which integrates James Fisher Strainstall’s proven load monitoring technology with container handling equipment. CWS™ provides an automated solution for producing a verified gross mass (VGM) by capturing VGM as part of the stacking cycle.

How does it improve efficiency?

Installing CWS onto Straddle Carriers, Reach Stackers, RTGs or RMGs allows terminals to eliminate the need for a weighbridge, and instead obtain VGM data when lifting and stacking containers in the stacking yard, increasing the speed of the VGM process by up to 300 percent.

Determining VGMs instantly means ports can weigh containers faster, and eliminates the need for a dedicated weighing process. Installing CWS onto stacking cranes also drastically increases the amount of containers that can be weighed simultaneously - far exceeding the output of a limited number of weighbridges.

Why is this better than a weighbridge?

An improvement in port automation means operating expenses could fall by between 25 and 55 percent and productivity could rise by 10 to 35 percent (source).

While weighbridges are a tried and tested method for capturing a container’s VGM, technological advances mean this method is now outdated, slow and inefficient. In its place, weighing systems equipped on stacking cranes are being adopted by leading ports.


Using a weighbridge is a manual process, with trucks required to queue onto the weighbridge and operators dedicated to recording data each time a new truck needs to be weighed. The vehicle tare weight is then subtracted from this value - a process that estimates the weight of the vehicle.

With CWS™, the system is fully automated and the VGM weight is captured as operators lift the containers in the stacking yard – there is no need to pause for a stable weight as our software algorithms capture in motion, and there is no need for operator input as the system is fully automatic.

Eliminates unnecessary processes and increases efficiency

A weighbridge asset serves no other function and is used for only one task. In contrast, a weighing system that is integrated into a machine’s existing stacking operations removes the need for a dedicated VGM process. VGMs can be captured as part of existing stacking operations with almost zero operational cost in terms of time while also eliminating vehicle queues -and the space required - while reducing turnaround times in the terminal.

Eliminates a single point of failure and reduces downtime

When using weighbridges, the whole VGM process is dependent on them functioning correctly – should these stop working then the port is unable to continue operations and effectively has a single point of failure. With CWS, the stacking cranes have the ability to take a VGM independently, and therefore data can be collected even if a machine experiences downtime.

Ability to implement a new revenue stream for the terminal

With no impact to efficiency it makes it simple to implement a VGM service without detriment to port operations, with the added benefit of introducing a new revenue source for the terminal: Read more here


CWS:  VS Weighbridges: 
Fully automates the VGM process    VGM verification is slow and inefficient

VGM is obtained during normal stacking operations, removing the need for a separate weighing process

  Creates a bottleneck in operations and single point of failure

CWS improves VGM speed by up to 300 percent, allowing you to weigh more containers in the same time

  Weighbridges are too inefficient to introduce a chargeable VGM verification service – any gains in revenue are offset by inefficiencCan be used singularly or as part of system 

CWS enables all stacking cranes to generate VGMs, mitigating the risk of downtime as opposed to a single point of failure with a weighbridg

  Significant capital investment that has no other application

Enables terminals to implement a chargeable VGM verification on all export containers without compromise to TEU output