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Xiamen Port to build automated terminal for ULCS’s

Xiamen Port Authority has disclosed that China’s Ministry of Transport and Communications has given the green light to develop what will be the first automated terminal in Fujian province.

The project, tentatively called “Pier No. 5” will be developed in the Xiang'an Port Area. The berth is intended to accommodate ultra-large container ships (ULCS), with an annual throughput capacity of 910,000TEU.

Xiamen Port Holding Group, which will operate the terminal, stated that the berth will have a remotely operated intelligent bridge crane, which greatly reduces the crane drivers’ workload.

The container yard will also have automated gantry cranes and unmanned container trucks that can be instructed to drive automatically and pick up and unload containers at fixed points.

An official of Xiamen Port Holding told Container News, “Pier No. 5 berth will be the first fully-built automated dock project in Fujian province. Regardless of whether it is an upgrade or new construction, the goal is to achieve automation and intelligence, increase the utilisation rate and turnover rate of the terminal, improving cost reduction and efficiency.”

So far, ULCS calling at Xiamen use the Haicang port area, while terminals in the Huli area meanwhile attract calls from vessels of up to 6,000TEU.

Currently, the Xiang'an port area has just one small container terminal that caters to the Chinese domestic trade and it handles mid-sized vessels from operators such as Zhonggu Shipping Group and Quanzhou Ansheng Shipping.

Construction will start once the plans for the dredging and land reclamation around the shoreline is approved, although a launch date has not been released.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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