LG Uplus works on 5G-connected smart system to ease container bottleneck in port

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : May 3, 2021, 13:20 | Updated : May 3, 2021, 13:20

[Courtesy of Korea Development Corporation]

SEOUL -- South Korea's mobile carrier LG Uplus will set up a 5G-connected smart port system that will accelerate the digital transformation of Busan Port. The mobile carrier will add remote control features for container cranes to allow operators to monitor and examine open-air storage yards from different angles using cameras and stack containers efficiently with minimized idle spaces.

A container crane, also known as a container handling gantry crane, is a gargantuan structure that hulks over docks. It picks up and carries containers from a ship to a storage yard and vice versa. A crane normally has a cockpit on top so that an operator can maneuver it while looking through windshields placed at the sides and the bottom of the small cubicle. Because of the limited viewing angle, it is hard for a crane operator to stack more than three containers.

LG Uplus (LGU+) disclosed plans for the digital transformation of the port in the southern port city of Busan using the 5G-connected remote control technology. The port has been selected in a government project to commercialize an unmanned smart port logistics system that will speed up the distribution of cargo using autonomous equipment. The connected technology will be applied to cranes in 2022.

The remote control crane system was put to a demonstration in 2019. It allows an operator to operate the heavy equipment from an office using real-time feeds from cameras. LGU+ said that an operator can control up to four cranes simultaneously to increase his or her work efficiency by up to 40 percent.

5G connection is important to harness port equipment as the mobile communication technology offers lightning-fast delivery of data to minimize the possibility of safety accidents and prevent the malfunction of equipment. Smart ports use artificial intelligence, big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain to increase efficiency and security. Smart port processing is automated using connected devices such as remote control cranes and unmanned cargo loaders.

LGU+ will interconnect cranes, yard tractors, IoT sensors and drones in ports. South Korea is pushing to digitally transform seaports into smart ports with automated facilities by 2030. According to Markets and Markets, an international market research company, South Korea's smart port market is projected to stand at 400 billion won ($257 million) by 2024.
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