China started trial operations of the world's biggest automated container terminal, the Shanghai Yangshan Deep Water Port, in eastern China, on Sunday (Dec 10), Chinese official media reported.
Located at the south of Donghai Bridge, phase 4 of the Yangshan Port covers 2.23 million sq m and has a 2,350-m shoreline, the Xinhua news agency said.
Once it enters full operation, the fourth phase of the Yangshan Port will initially be able to handle 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). The number will expand to 6.3 million TEUs later on.
"The automated terminal not only increases the port's handling efficiency, but also reduces carbon emissions by up to 10 per cent," said Chen Wuyuan, president of Shanghai International Port Group.
The automated handling equipment used in the project are designed and manufactured in China. Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company is responsible for making the machinery used in loading and unloading, including a bridge crane, an automated guided vehicle (AGV) and a rail-mounted gantry crane.
The port also used a domestically developed automated management system to ensure safety and efficiency.
The terminal will help boost Shanghai port's standing as the busiest container port in the world. It will also further support Shanghai's efforts to become a world shipping centre.
So far, the first set of machinery, including 10 bridge cranes, 40 rail-mounted gantry cranes and 50 AGVs, have been tested and put into trial operations. In future, there will be 26 bridge cranes, 120 rail-mounted gantry cranes and 130 AGVs available at the Yangshan automated container port.