This paper pertains to advanced automation of the load transfer process using overhead cranes. Overhead cranes are widely used in various areas of industry, including manufacturing, construction, shipping, etc. Load transfer operations using overhead cranes have to be performed fast and safely. As such, these operations are handled by expert operators however, the demand for an automatic consistent and reliable crane operation is on the rise. The crane–load system is highly nonlinear and time-varying, hence, solutions considering model-base approaches may lead to a complicated controller structure. Such a controller may require accurate estimation of the crane system parameters. In this paper we present a new fuzzy logic controller for overhead crane operation. The fuzzy controller is designed based on knowledge of an expert crane operator, and does not require any parameter estimation. It mimics the operator behavior by using the same crane–load system states that are realized by the operator. These states are the trolley position error and the load sway angle. The fuzzy controller action, on the other hand, is the desired trolley speed. The proposed controller is implemented and tested on a small-scale overhead crane. Experimental results show robust operation of the fuzzy controller as compared with that of a conventional controller.