Skip content

Terminal XXI - PSA Sines

Increasing security, traceability and flexibility thanks to drone technology.


+351 21 124 4500



PSA Sines is the concessionaire for the Sines Container Terminal (Terminal XXI), located 150 km south of Lisbon. As the largest container terminal in Portugal, with a current capacity of 2.3 TEU, Terminal XXI is part of the leading international maritime routes capable of receiving the world's biggest container ships.

The client challenge

Our Iberian Inspection team was asked to:

  • Perform the inspection of STS cranes in the least possible time
  • Inspect without compromising the port operations
  • Get reliable information and provide a skilled assessment
  • Show a record of critical inspection points in video and images
  • Conduct work in the safest possible manner
  • Reduce associated costs

How LRQA has helped

STS cranes are critical equipment in the operation of maritime ports. Any functional problem with this equipment can jeopardise the safety of people and cargos. That is why this equipment needs to be periodically inspected under the maintenance plan.

LRQA inspectors were able to adjust to the requirements on-site without compromising equipment and the high accuracy of the inspection, all in a short time frame.

Rafael Machado – Portugal Area Coordinator, Inspection Services - LRQA Iberia explains, "In an industry that depends on the reliability of their equipment, the inspection needed to take place with minimal disruption. The challenge here was to use remote tools, in this case, drones, to complement our regular inspection services. This allowed us to:

  • Access to areas not accessible without external means (scaffolding or crane);
  • Increase safety;
  • Reduce inspection time;

Have high-quality images and video to conduct an in-depth site tour and analyse critical points in detail, ensuring the safety of the equipment.

The result

Using remote technology to reduce risk and cost.

Emerging technologies are changing how infrastructures are inspected, and drone technology has helped reduce costs and improve safety conditions. Combining our expertise using the latest drone technology has enabled LRQA inspectors to examine the exteriors, accessible interiors, and non-destructive (NDE) suspected areas remotely.

This approach provided a high quality, technology-led and cost-effective solution to PSA Sines while reducing associated risks. For example, LRQA inspectors were not exposed to hazards related to working over water or at height. In total, they have spent two working days per equipment instead of three, as there was no need for scaffolding or additional equipment to perform these services.

"LR has significantly contributed to reduce operations disruption time and mitigate the risks of the STS cranes inspection by using the latest drone technology. This remote tool also has a clear benefit in terms of cost-efficiency, tracking and assessment of the equipment structural integrity, providing PSA Sines teams additional resources to successfully achieve existing internal requirements" Ricardo Sobral – Head of Engineering – PSA Sines