MOU delivers automation progress

Industry Database

An MOU between Navis and Tianjin Port Group to accelerate technology innovation has already seen the organisations partner on several projects in China that involve a range of different automation solutions.

The MOU comprises a Smart Port project to support current and future joint projects, typically with ZPMC as the prime or lead contractor, as well as a foundation for possible future joint collaboration on technology adoption and service support.

Mark Welles, VP & general manager, Asia-Pacific at Navis, said that the MOU has seen the company work with Tianjin Port Group, which currently has the world’s largest terminal complex on N4, in support of several joint customers.

Speaking about automation he said: "The highest profile project to date is the fully automated terminal in Qingdao (QQCTN).

One of the challenges presented by the MOU is working with customers who aim to introduce new technologies as part of their projects.

"As such, one of the challenges we have is integrating such new technologies into a proven, stable platform while continuing to deliver the targeted/contracted outcomes," Mr Welles said.

Navis is currently working to upgrade the technology at the Cosco port in Xiamen as well as bidding on multiple new projects in north and south China.

Mr Welles explained that in addition to terminal automation for brownfield and greenfield sites, customers in Asia are looking at initiatives such as converting existing manual trucks to driverless vehicles and fully automating rail/intermodal operations.

"We see a number of “early adopter” customers exploring how to best prepare for 5G and the potential IoT provides," he added.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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