Tianjin port completes transformation to unmanned automatic container terminals

(exploringtianjin.com)| Updated : 2021-01-18

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Tianjin Port, an important shipping hub in north China, has been making continuous upgrades in its journey to becoming a smart port. One such upgrade has been the transformation of traditional container terminals to unmanned automatic ones, through the introduction of a variety of technical innovations.

Giving full play to the role of intelligent technologies, Tianjin Port has built a world-first automated container facility, with intelligent tallying being realized at all terminals for the first time. 

During 2020, the port also accelerated its "smart port" transformation by furthering the application of technologies like self-driving trucks, 3D visual recognition and positioning devices, robots and 5G.


Due to the adoption of 3D visual recognition and positioning devices, locking procedures can be automatically conducted by robots. Recognition time has been reduced from 6 seconds to 3 seconds, while the recognition rate has reached more than 95 percent.

Thanks to these intelligent technologies and through the use of self-driving and automated handling shipping containers, Tianjin Port has increased efficiency and cut operation costs and energy spending by 25 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Chu Bin, chairman of Tianjin Port Group, said that the innovation drive has achieved breakthroughs in terms of building a leading, automated container terminals port, which is acting as an example for other ports in China and around the world.


The port is becoming more environmentally-friendly thanks to fully electric container trucks that produce zero emissions, as well as container terminals operating on an electric power system. The port is also building an electric power system for ships to reduce emissions caused by their on-shore operations. 

Tianjin Port set a new record for container throughput in 2020 with 18.35 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEU), a year-on-year growth of 6.1 percent. It trades with more than 800 ports in more than 200 countries. 


With the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement by 15 states, which marked the birth of the world's largest free trade area, Tianjin Port is now seeking to expand its role as a transportation hub.