Taiwan Gets Its First Fully Automated Container Terminal, Expects Increased Throughput

Credit: Tom Fisk/Pexels

Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) chairman Lee Hsien-yi stated on 5 May that the newly built No. 7 terminal in Taiwan’s Kaohisung port is the country’s first fully automated container terminal, and he hopes it will help increase the port’s throughput.

Improve Efficiency

Evergreen Marine Corporation started operating the No. 7 terminal on 1 May, after the first phase of construction was completed. The Taiwanese mainline operator has a 20-year concession to run the facility, and the second phase of construction is expected to be finished in June 2024. Lee said the No. 7 terminal uses unmanned vehicles, remote control, Internet of Things network coverage, 5G and Artificial Intelligence systems, which can significantly improve the efficiency of container yard operations.

TIPC noted in a press statement that due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the operation of traditional container terminals that relied heavily on manual operations was greatly challenged. Under the circumstances of global labor crunch and sudden lockdowns, the pandemic caused berthing delays, congested terminals, and delays in container loading and unloading operations. Automation has, therefore, overcome these constraints.

Increased Volume

Building the No. 7 terminal cost approximately US$1.33 billion, of which around US$660 million was funded by TIPC, and Evergreen contributed the remaining US$670 million. For start, after the second phase of construction is finished, the terminal will have an annual handling volume of 4.5 million TEUs. Over the long term, the target is to achieve 6.5 million TEUs.

Lee said, “The road to innovation and breakthrough isn’t easy. We experienced a severe shortage of human resources during the pandemic, which led to construction challenges and other difficulties…”

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Source: Xindermarinenews