Ericsson and China Unicom are developing a 5G smart harbour at the Port of Qingdao in China. The news follows a successful technical solution verification at the port.
One of the key findings of the field trial is up to 70% of labour costs can be saved when a harbour uses the 5G automation upgrade compared to traditional automated harbours.
“China Unicom is proactively exploring industrial 5G business opportunities. We would like to cooperate with major 5G equipment suppliers and leading industrial equipment suppliers to create differentiated value to enterprise customers,” commented Zhang Yong, General Manager of the China Unicom Research Institute. “The Qingdao 5G smart harbour project is a pilot of 5G industrial cooperation and we expect fruitful outcomes both in 5G network solutions and business aspects.“
Chris Houghton, Senior Vice President and Head of Market Area North East Asia at Ericsson added: “This 5G smart harbour solution is not only applicable to the Port of Qingdao but can also be replicated with many other harbours and industries.”
The Port of Qingdao is among the top ten busiest ports in the world, processing approximately 19.3 million containers every year. The port has been operating Asia’s first fully-automated harbour since 2017 and will continue to be at the forefront of port innovation by using 5G.
The partners, in collaboration with global port machinery manufacturer Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (ZPMC), say they achieved several ground-breaking accomplishments as part of their six-month 5G smart harbour technical solution verification in late 2018. This includes an automated ship-to-shore (STS) crane that lifted a container over a 5G connection operated from the control centre.
The 5G connection included data traffic from more than 30 high-definition cameras as well as control data for a programmable logic controller (PLC). These operations required millisecond-level latency control signals, as well as stable, remote and real-time control.