Hongkong International Terminals (HIT) , the city’s leading port operator, has equipped its Terminal 9 North with 29 remote-controlled gantry cranes. It is hoped that this move will narrow the technological gap with ports such as Qingdao in China, where the day to day operations there are fully automated.
From the 1990s until 2005, Hong Kong was the world’s busiest shipping port. But, as ports in mainland China and Singapore emerged over the past two decades, the competitiveness of the city’s port has significantly diminished. Now ranked as the fifth busiest for port throughput, Hong Kong port trails behind ports in Shanghai, Singapore, Shenzhen, and Ningbo.
HIT said with the new operation system in place, the cranes will be 20 percent more efficient, which will reduce the use of electricity and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent.
This initiative was part of the company’s HK$2 billion (US$256 million) investment plan to upgrade the technology of the Hong Kong port.