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 Huawei
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‘Partner Content’ is used to describe brand content that is paid for and controlled by the advertiser rather than the Euronews editorial team. This content is produced by commercial departments and does not involve Euronews editorial staff or news journalists. The funding partner has control of the topics, content and final approval in collaboration with Euronews’ commercial production department.
 Huawei

Huawei’s revolutionary vision for ports sets sail with AI-powered hub utilising 5G and green energy

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©   -  Copyright  Huawei

A year on from its completion, the intelligent, zero-carbon port is in full operation – complete with a 76-strong fleet of self-driving trucks.

The Port of Tianjin is the result of a revolutionary partnership with tech giant Huawei, which revolutionised its deployment systems with a “vehicle-cloud synergy” system, combining 5G and L4 autonomous driving that is completely independent of human control.

Located in Northern China, the port is the main maritime gateway to the nation’s capital – as well as the world beyond – and the recent digital transformation of Section C in the Beijiang Port Area makes it one of the most technologically advanced in the country.

Some of the wealth of innovations include the AI-powered intelligent horizontal transportation management system, which refers to the handling of cargo within the port.

By integrating 5G with BeiDou’s satellite navigation, the system achieves total ubiquitous intelligence, meaning it can operate 76 container trucks around the clock using green electricity – a model which could change the face of shipping around the world.

“Building more efficient and smart ports is becoming increasingly important for the global supply chain,” says Yue Kun, CTO of Huawei's Smart Road, Waterway & Port BU. “To achieve high-quality development, ports need to embrace digital and intelligent transformation and build green ecosystems.

“The Tianjin Port has successful experience in adopting 5G and other digital technology, making it a role model for transformation within the global port industry."

Huawei
©Huawei

Cutting-edge technology: how does it work?

At the terminal, remotely controlled quay cranes pick up containers and load them onto the unmanned electric trucks, known as Intelligent Guided Vehicles (IGVs).

From here, the IGVs follow the 5G-powered BeiDou navigation system to the automatic locking and unlocking stations where they are loaded with containers and driven to the container yard, without so much as a human foot on the pedal.

Previously, transporting containers was a costly process due to the number of human drivers it required. Fixed routes and back-to-back shifts were also tiring for drivers, posing a big safety risk.

Today, each container consumes 20 per cent less energy and cranes are 20 per cent more efficient on average, with each crane operating 39 container units per hour.

For Yang Jiemin, Vice President of the Tianjin Port Group, the technology marks the beginning of a new era.

“Ports are one of the world's oldest industries and Huawei is an engine that powers technological progress,” he says. “When the old meets the new, I believe they will create tremendous new vitality.

“The Tianjin Port and Huawei have successfully transformed the terminal of Section C in Beijiang port area of the Tianjin Port into a showcase for next-generation automated ports while making significant contributions to the port industry.”

Huawei
©Huawei

What are the benefits of the intelligent horizontal transport system?

One of the most significant advantages of the system is global path planning, which has been designed using an algorithm based on vehicle kinetics to ensure trucks stay on their intended route.

This enables IGVs to turn smoothly in the road, ensuring efficient multi-vehicle cooperation to avoid collisions. It cuts down wasted time, maximises efficiency and improves safety.

Another key improvement is high-precision positioning, which is achieved using BeiDou, 5G and roadside sensing assistance. Remarkably, 90 per cent of quay cranes successfully align on the first try, significantly improving operational efficiency.

Simultaneously, the upgraded Huawei Mobile Data Centre (MDC) intelligent driving platform offers automotive-grade assurance, including ultimate computing power and long service life. It also simplifies operations and maintenance by providing standardised hardware.

To prevent interruptions to fleet services, Huawei coded an algorithm designed to recharge the IGVs at the best possible time. The core system integration, meanwhile, means it can quickly interconnect with supporting services such as the Terminal Operating System (TOS).

Huawei also employed cloud-vehicle decoupling in the design, a method which makes the vehicle independent of the cloud through an open ecosystem. This supports a wide range of intelligent driving vehicle models, further expanding the port’s potential.

Currently, the Tianjin Port has a 300,000-tonne class wharf with a channel depth of 22 metres, as well as 192 berths of various types and 128 berths above the 10,000-ton-class. By the end of last year, the port’s container throughput exceeded 18.35 million TEU, ranking it eighth in the world.

And, with the high-tech efficiencies already in place, the hub is undoubtedly sailing up the channel to anchor its place as the world’s best in the future.