Evergreen’s new terminal in Kaohsiung to increase container volume

Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) Chairman Lee Hsien-yi said on May 5 that the newly built Terminal No. 7 at Taiwan’s Kaohisung Port is the country’s first fully automated container terminal and he hopes it will help going to increase throughput at the port.

Evergreen Marine Corporation began operating Terminal No. 7 on May 1 after the first phase of construction was completed. The Taiwanese transmission operator has a 20-year concession to operate the facility, and the second phase of construction is expected to be completed in June 2024.

Lee said that the No. 7 terminal uses unmanned vehicles, remote control, Internet of Things network coverage, 5G and artificial intelligence systems, which can greatly improve the efficiency of container yard operations.

TIPC noted in a press statement that the operations of traditional container terminals, which relied heavily on manual operations, have been severely challenged due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the circumstances of global labor shortages and sudden lockdowns, the pandemic caused delays in docking, congested terminals and delays in container loading and unloading. Automation has therefore overcome these limitations.

Terminal No. 7 cost approximately $1.33 billion to build, of which approximately $660 million was funded by TIPC and Evergreen contributed the remaining $670 million.

After completion of the second construction phase, the terminal will initially have an annual handling volume of 4.5 million TEU. In the long term, 6.5 million TEU should be reached.

In 2022, Kaohsiung processed 9.49 million TEU, down 4% from 2021 when container volumes started to shrink after the pandemic-related boom.

With a water depth of 18 meters and five berths with a length of over 2.4 km, Terminal No. 7 offers space for four 24,000 TEU container ships at the same time.

Lee said, “The road to innovation and breakthrough is not easy. During the pandemic, we experienced a serious shortage of staff, leading to construction challenges and other difficulties. TIPC and the construction companies discussed with Evergreen for more than four years and made important decisions. We managed to build Terminal No. 7 in a very short time to seize the opportunity in the ever-changing shipping market.”

Since Evergreen now occupies Terminal No. 7, it has vacated Kaohsiung’s Terminal No. 5, which will be taken over by its compatriot Wan Hai Lines.

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