Huawei and Shanghai International Port Group Launch Centralized Remote Control Project for Smart Ports

—Port Intelligent Twins Speed Up Upgrades in the Port & Shipping Industry


[Shanghai, China, June 30, 2021] On June 25th, Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) launched its smart command and control center project, with the support from its Shangdong Branch, NeZha Technology, and Huawei. This is the first project in the world to apply optical networking technology for centralized remote control in ports — marking a major breakthrough in the operation of next-generation smart ports. At the launch event, Shangdong Branch, NeZha Technology, and Huawei also signed a Port Intelligent Twins Innovation Cooperation Agreement to emphasize the intention of the three parties to continue their cooperation in building world-class smart ports while promoting the digital transformation of SIPG.

Eight executives pose for a photograph at the launch of SIPG's remote control project for smart ports, supported by Huawei

Project launch

Compared with previous generations of fixed networks, Huawei's optical networking technology offers improved bandwidth, lower latency, higher reliability, and more connections, capable to fulfill industrial IoT requirements from smart ports. Thanks to its market leading redundancy and reliability features, the optical architecture designed for this project ensures secure and reliable connectivity for various remote control applications that drive port machinery, while also enabling smarter port operations, smooth evolution, and future-oriented investment protection.

"This project marks the first practical application of the centralized remote control in urban areas over port equipment using advanced optical networks. It highlights our commitment to innovation and the use of cutting-edge technologies in an effort to position ourselves as leaders in the market. Currently, we are building a smart, green, high-tech, and efficient port. We are capitalizing on the opportunities presented by digital transformation, optimizing our port operations and management models. Guided by the 14th Five-Year Plan, SIPG will continue to develop a world-class shipping hub. To achieve this, we aim to build an internationally competitive digital port industry, and accelerate the development of Shanghai International Shipping Center and powerful ports. Our vision is to become a world-leading terminal operator and port logistics service supplier." said Mr. Gu Jinshan, Chairman of SIPG.

Gu Jinshan, Chair of SIPG, speaks at the launch of the remote control project for smart ports, supported by Huawei

Gu Jinshan, Secretary of the Communist Party Committee & Chairperson of SIPG

World's Largest Automated Terminal with Improved Emergency Response and Uninterrupted Operations

SIPG is at the forefront of innovation, building a world-class smart green port to fuel economic development.

The smart command and control center for centralized remote control in urban areas using advanced optical networks was deployed at Phase IV of the Yangshan Port — the world's largest and most automated container terminal. The terminal covers 2,350 meters of shoreline, and holds seven deep-water container berths, 21 ship-to-shore (STG) cranes, 108 rail-mounted gantry (RMG) cranes, and 125 automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Operating since December 2017, Phase IV of the Yangshan Port is quickly growing its container throughput, having handled 11 million TEUs to date. In fact, the terminal continues to hit various records. Its maximum round-the-clock handling capacity exceeds 21,000 TEUs, and its STG cranes have repeatedly performed over 1000 operations within a calendar day. This production level highlights the effectiveness of the automated system while also testing its stability.

And with the optical networking technology featuring low latency and high reliability, command and control over quay cranes (QCs) and yard cranes is no longer taking place at the port. Instead, remote control is implemented from the Tongsheng Logistics Park and downtown Shanghai. Located over 100 km away from the port, remote operators control a variety of heavy port equipment from a single point to multiple locations. This brings many advantages such as reduced commute times for staff, better predictability of staff availability, and attractiveness of the workplace.

Visualized remote control is an important component as it significantly improves operational efficiency of the port. This project has allowed SIPG to improve the terminal's emergency response and uninterrupted service capabilities in exceptional circumstances, such as extreme weather conditions. This demonstrates SIPG's commitment to delivering stable and efficient services to its customers, and marks an important step in building the Shanghai International Shipping Center.

Optical Networking Enables the World's First Centralized Remote Port Control from a Distance of 100 km

In smart ports, optical networking is mainly used in the Huawei OTN solution to implement WAN interconnection between ports, as well as in the Huawei Industry OptiX solution to accurately and efficiently control large port equipment. This project is seen as a lighthouse project for optical networking applications in the following aspects:

• First, optical networking technology is applied in the industrial control field (QC control) for the first time to realize "fiber-to-the-machine" deployment that will help reinvent the network architecture of large ports. Enhanced Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation (eDBA) technology assigns fixed bandwidth and QoS parameters to channels that carry industrial control services and flexible bandwidth to carry ultra-high definition (UHD) videos, implementing smoother remote QC control over conventional technologies. Moreover, optical networking technology simplifies network layers and centrally carries machine and campus networks, with the visualized network management system (NMS) reducing the O&M workload by 60%.

• Second, this is the first application of optical networking technology to a backbone WAN of a large port. An all-optical data highway is built between geographically separated ports, achieving outstanding transmission capabilities with Tbit/s ultra-large capacity, μs-level low latency, and zero jitter over distances exceeding 100 km. Such transmission creates infinite possibilities for the application of new technologies — such as edge computing, AI analysis, and machine learning — and Port Intelligent Twins (as depicted in the figure below). This further accelerates the digital transformation of the port industry and large-scale collaboration potential of SIPG's services.

Representatives of SIPG, NeZha Technology, and Huawei pose at the launch of a remote control project for smart ports

Port Intelligent Twins based on application innovation and ecosystem aggregation

Building Port Intelligent Twins to Drive Digital Economic Development

An imbalance between transport capacity supply and demand, low fluctuation of freight rates, and heavy pressure on enterprise profitability have become the new normal for the industry, driving all links in the supply chain to emphasize safety, reliability, and efficiency. As such, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the digital transformation of the shipping industry. Based on its years of experience in the port industry, alongside its in-depth insights and practices of industry digital transformation, Huawei has proposed the "Port Intelligent Twins" architecture.

Mr. Wang Guoyu, President of the Global Transportation Business Unit of Huawei Enterprise BG, said: "Huawei develops the 'Port Intelligent Twins' across all processes, service architectures, and lifecycles of smart ports based on application innovation and ecosystem aggregation. We use digital technologies — such as AI, cloud, and intelligent vision — to deeply integrate with service scenarios of traditional industries, and leverage new ICT to improve intelligence and computing power. In doing so, we enable industry digitalization and upgrades, create new productivity for conventional labor-intensive enterprises, and drive digital economic development."

Wang Guoyu, Huawei's President of Global Transportation, speaks at SIPG's remote control project for smart ports launch

Wang Guoyu, President of Global Transportation Business Unit of Huawei Enterprise BG

Focusing on the Navigation Spirit in the New Era and Accelerating the Transformation and Upgrade of the Shipping Industry

Shangdong Branch, NeZha Technology, and Huawei signed the Port Intelligent Twins Innovation Cooperation Agreement at the launch event. With the goal of building a world-class comprehensive port service supplier, the three parties will invest in and construct major projects, guided by the use of advanced technologies, and develop industry demonstration applications. The three parties will also aggregate superior talent, technology, and capital resources to empower SIPG's digital transformation to the highest extent possible.

In order to accumulate and deliver successful digital transformation practices and methodologies for ports globally, the three parties established a joint Port Intelligent Twins innovation center, which achieves all-scenario sensing, interconnection, and intelligence. Together, Shangdong Branch, NeZha Technology, and Huawei will strengthen cooperation in smart port construction, basic service upgrades, technological innovation, and talent cultivation. Aimed at building a world-class port, they will accelerate the overall improvements of SIPG's intelligence, efficiency, and experience.

A graphic depicting port intelligent twins based on application innovation and ecosystem aggregation

Liu Changman, General Manager of Shangdong Branch, Huang Heng, General Manager of NeZha Technology, and Liu Zhengbao, General Manager of the Huawei Shanghai Government & Enterprise Business Dept sign the contract

Huawei will fully leverage its product and technical advantages to provide comprehensive and efficient ICT products, solutions, and services for SIPG, further driving the group's digitalization growth. At the same time, the three parties will continue to work together to promote green port construction, with the help of Huawei's leading digital power technology.