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Hanjin Newport Co. Expedites Loading and Unloading With RFID

The Korean terminal operator is using a Mojix-based solution provided by Qbit to ensure that the automated crane is ready to meet a vehicle for unloading or loading, thereby improving efficiency.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 30, 2015

Hanjin Newport Co. (HJNC), a division of Hanjin Shipping, is using an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID solution to help it manage its 20 percent growth in traffic this year at its deep-water terminal in the city of Busan, South Korea. The RFID solution, provided by Korean technology company Qbit, consists of Qbit's software and Mojix STAR RFID receivers and eNode transmitters, to capture the movements of thousands of vehicles as they enter and exit the port.

HJNC's terminal, constructed in 2010 with a capacity of 2 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), serves as the logistics hub for Northeast Asia. The terminal is a joint venture between HJNC and the Port of Singapore Authority. Since opening, the terminal has been increasingly busy, processing 596,700 TEUs during the first quarter of 2014 versus 718,200 in the same quarter this year.

Mojix RFID receivers and eNodes alert the automated rail-mounted gantry crane when a truck is arriving, enabling the crane to process more loads in less time.
HJNC was able to accommodate the increased traffic, in part due to the RFID system that feeds data to its terminal operating system (TOS). The system makes it possible for the company to automatically identify each truck as it enters the terminal's main gate, and then its assigned loading area, and to forward that data to the automated rail-mounted gantry crane (RMGC) system so that the cranes can be dispatched to meet the vehicles and quickly unload or load their cargo containers.

Thousands of trucks from third-party carriers, as well as dozens of HJNC vehicles, use the terminal to receive or offload goods for import or export. Since each load needs to be moved from truck to vessel or vice versa, by crane, the process could lead to long queues at the terminal, which is something HJNC intended to avoid. By identifying each vehicle as soon as it arrives at the terminal and nears the loading area, the system could enable the crane to be ready when the truck reaches the appointed location for loading or unloading.

Without RFID, one challenge that the terminal faced was properly scheduling the cranes for each truck. For instance, a driver could enter the gate, but before driving to the loading area, he might stop to use a restroom or eat at a restaurant at the facility.

HJNC had previously tried using UHF RFID technology to identify vehicles arriving at the gates. However, the company said, Qbit experienced some problems with the RFID hardware it had tested, since readers often failed to interrogate the tags on vehicles. In those instances, HJNC staff members had to manually identify the trucks and instruct the vehicles' drivers to circle past the readers again—or, in some cases, a truck had to proceed to the loading area without being recognized by the TOS because its tag had not been properly read.

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