CM Labs Expands Ports Catalogue of Yardside Equipment Simulations with Unique ECH Operator Training Solution

CM Labs Simulations, developer of Vortex® training simulators, today announced the launch of an immersive new training pack for empty container handler (ECH) operators, the only ECH training solution on the market that allows operators to experience the effects of unbalanced loads and other causes of machine instability.

This capability is due to the Smart Training Technology™ that’s incorporated in the solution. Smart Training Technology is comprised of CM Labs’ proprietary and patented algorithms, and includes real-time simulation features that are unique on the market. The result is a training solution that delivers the most transferable operator skills anywhere, outside the real equipment.

The ECH Simulator Training Pack can run on any CM Labs ports equipment simulator, including the desktop Vortex Trainer, the motion-enabled Vortex Advantage, and the high-immersion Vortex Master. Thanks to their hot-swappable control capabilities, each simulator can run a full fleet of training packs following the full journey of cargo. This includes STS Crane, Ship Pedestal Crane, Straddle Carrier, Rubber-tyred Gantry, Mobile Harbour Crane, Reach Stacker, Forklift, and more.

The simulated ECH stacks 8 containers high, and lifts 20-, 40-, and 45-foot containers, with realistic manipulation of twistlocks and vertical bar, and a maximum travel speed of 27 km/h.

The solution can run in a training setting designed to meet sanitizing and physical distancing requirements, and provides rapid operator readiness for operating challenges, including night-time operations and reduced visibility due to weather conditions such as fog, rain, or snow.

The ECH Simulator Training Pack tracks all operating performance metrics during training exercises, and rolls them up into a single score that updates in real time. Port terminals and training schools can customise this scoring system to highlight their most important standards, so that new operators can ramp up even faster.

With a focus that goes far beyond basic controls familiarisation, the ECH Simulator Training Pack exposes operators to conditions that are challenging or unsafe to replicate in real life. When paired with CM Labs’ Intellia Instructor Station, the training pack allows trainers to introduce specific challenges at any time, including overload or uneven load distribution, proximity to personnel, and potholes. The IOS can be installed at a distance from the simulators to comply with training hygiene requirements, or even in an adjacent room.

About CM Labs Simulations

CM Labs builds simulation-based solutions to help clients design advanced equipment and prepare for skilled operations. Through its Vortex Studio platform, CM Labs provides capabilities for training simulators, mission rehearsal, virtual prototyping, and testing.

For more than 20 years, CM Labs’ Vortex Simulators have helped train equipment operators in port, maritime, and offshore environments all over the world. In the past few years alone, the Port of Tilbury, Flinders Adelaide Container Terminal, Indonesian Port Corporation, Napier Port, Ports of Auckland, multiple DP World sites, and the Pacific Maritime Association (USA) have chosen Vortex simulators to improve operational safety and efficiency.

Vortex® is a registered trademark of CM Labs Simulations. For more information, contact, or visit us at