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Engineer team of Qingdao Port wins award

(chinadaily.com.cn) | 2020-06-24

The eastern coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong province awarded the title of "Qingdao Exemplars" to a team of engineers from the Qingdao New Qianwan Automatic Container Terminal, Asia's first fully automated port, on June 22.

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The team of engineers from the Qingdao New Qianwan Automatic Container Terminal are awarded the title of "Qingdao Exemplars". [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

While getting an automated terminal up and running usually requires years of preparation, the Qianwan terminal was ready in 2017 after just three years.

The leader of the team, Zhang Liangang, said that it used to take about 60 workers to unload a cargo ship, but the automated port requires only nine.

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Zhang Liangang (left) and his colleague check equipment at the port terminal.  [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"Labor costs have been reduced by 70 percent because of automation and efficiency has increased by 30 percent because we can now also operate at night," Zhang said.

He added that workers used to have to scale the tall cranes to operate them, but this task can now be completed using a computer in the office.

Zhang's team initiated the second phase of the terminal in August 2018, turning it into a 5G-powered smart wharf in just 15 months.

The terminal boasts the world's first hydrogen-powered 5G port that uses unmanned vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel to transport containers.

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Engineers work at the Qingdao New Qianwan Automatic Container Terminal. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The port operators estimated that hydrogen energy could reduce the electricity consumption for transporting each container by 3.6 percent.

5G technology has also been applied in the operation of quay cranes and rail-mounted gantry cranes, container movement as well as high-definition video data transmission.

A single bridge crane at the terminal is now able to handle a world record 44.6 containers per hour.

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Zhang Liangang and his team pose for a photo at the Qingdao New Qianwan Automatic Container Terminal. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"Our team is now summing up the experience of automated terminal construction so as to provide insights into port construction in the industrial internet," said Zhang.

CGTN contributed to this story.