Zurich-based ABB (NYSE: ABB), a terminal crane automation company, said it will acquire San Diego-based APS Technology Group (APS) to add optical character recognition (OCR) and gate automation capabilities to further improve safety, productivity and efficiency of port operations as containerized shipping grows worldwide.
APS, an 11-year-old, 50-person company with offices in San Diego and Long Beach, Calif., will join ABB's Crane and Harbor automation business. No major changes to staffing, product offerings or marketing efforts are planned. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"As containerized shipping grows, container handling in ports and terminals is quickly moving away from manual controls to fully automated systems," said Fred Hoonaard, head of Crane and Harbor Center of Excellence. "Bringing visual, or OCR, technology to containers, trucks and gates gets us one step closer to delivering ship-to-gate automation that increases productivity and reduces accidents while saving time and money."
ABB estimates that the global terminal automation market will double in five years. The company has invested more than $11 billion in the last three years in U.S. companies. In North America, ABB employs more than 30,000 people, including about 20,000 in the United States. Globally, ABB employs about 145,000.