Friday Focus: Qingdao’s Fully Automated Terminal


With the goal of building a fully automated container terminal that offers high productivity levels and a safer environment, Qingdao New Qianwan Terminal (QQCTN) opted for Navis’ N4 terminal operating system (TOS).

Operated by the Port of Qingdao, one of the largest trade hubs in the world for container cargo, QQCTN is the first automated container terminal in Asia and one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the world.

Now the first phase of construction has been completed, QQCTN plans to increase its number of fully automated berths from two to six, allowing it to achieve an annual throughput capacity of 5.5 million TEU and average quay crane productivity of 40 moves per hour.

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In order to streamline its operations and boost efficiency, QQCTN partnered with Navis to implement the N4 TOS, integrating software and equipment to smoothen terminal processes.

QQCTN leverages N4’s advanced functionality to enhance the potential of automated equipment, including optimized scheduling, dispatching and analytics.


Port of Qingdao, East China


In addition to this, Navis’ TOS supports dynamic interfaces to the Equipment Control System (ECS) and QQCTN’s in-house terminal management system.

With the help of Navis, QQCTN has already completed more than 1,100 vessel calls with 100% on-schedule performance, all in a cost-effective manner due to unmanned operations and a reduction in labour costs.

Frederik Stork, Navis, discusses artifical intelligence and machine learning for container terminal operations in a recent Port Technology technical paper

There are also environmental benefits to the collaboration between QQCTN and Navis, as using the N4 TOS has helped the terminal to introduce new technologies which maintain the productivity, reliability and eco-friendliness of operations.

Zhang Liangang, General Manager of QQCTN, commented: “We immediately aligned with Navis’ vision for the future of innovation in the ocean shipping industry and with its experience helping terminals around the world achieve their goals for automation, we knew we made the right choice in selecting N4 for our TOS.

“Once we started, the Navis team helped us automate our terminal in record time.”

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