The Port of Qingdao in China is set to become a 5G-powered ‘smart harbour’, following the announcement of successful tests of a new system at the port created by Ericsson and China Unicom.
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 aims to extend its capabilities even further through the application of new 5G technologies.
Ericsson and China Unicom, in collaboration with port machinery manufacturer Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries (ZPMC), carried out the six-month 5G ‘smart harbour’ tests in late 2018, including trials of an automated ship-to-shore (STS) crane that was operated via a 5G link to the control centre and used to lift containers.
The 5G connection also carried data traffic from more than 30 high-definition cameras around the port, as well as control data for a programmable logic controller (PLC).
“In the Qingdao 5G smart harbour project, we successfully showcased various 5G network capabilities, such as millisecond level end-to-end latency at Gbps level speed,” said Chris Houghton, Senior Vice President and Head of Market Area North East Asia at Ericsson.
“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.”