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SPG accelerates digitalized port construction

|chinadaily.com.cn |Updated: December 16, 2019


SPG's fully automated container terminal in Qingdao Port uses automation and artificial intelligence technology to boost efficiency. [Photo/WeChat account: Shandong-Port] 

The second phase of the Qingdao Port of Shandong Port Group (SPG), a fully automated container terminal, first started operating on Nov 28, 2019, and SPG officials say it is an extremely efficient facility.

The terminal is literally the first fully automated container terminal in Asia. It is located in the Qianwan Bonded Port Area of Qingdao city – in East China's coastal Shandong province -- and various preferential and incentive policies have accelerated its development.

In May 2017, phase one of the wharf project started operations in Qingdao, with a waterfront of 660 meters, two berths and a designed handling capacity of 1.5 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) per year. The second phase of the project has a waterfront also of 660 m, two berths, and a designed throughput capacity of 1.7 million TEUs per year.

Benefiting from highly automated production lines, the second phase of the project began construction on June 8, 2018 and went into operation  just one and a half years later.

Wang Chongshan, deputy operation manager of fully automated terminal operations department, said the new facility used lots of sophisticated components that were revolutionizing the handling of containers.

"AI automatic recognition, laser positioning... guarantees that the heavy clumsy machinery, can 'observe' and 'think' like an AI robot," Wang said

As of Nov 26, 2019 the first phase of the Qingdao Port fully automated terminal has completed the loading and unloading of 1,846 ships, with a throughput of 2.9 million TEUs.

Officials said the average loading and unloading efficiency of the terminal is 36.2 containers an hour and at its peak handling it moves 43.8 containers per hour -- 50 percent higher than similar terminals in the world.

Officials say it is the first fully automated terminal in the world that exceeds the operating efficiency of ordinary terminals that are operated by man.

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Shandong Port Building, No. 7 Gangji Road, Shibei district, Qingdao, Shandong province, China
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