Huawei aims to make ports more intelligent

  • October 4, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Huawei launched technology at its Connect conference in China last month to help build safe, efficient and intelligent ports, making cross-border trade safer and more convenient.

As part of its smart customs integration offering, it builds digital management capabilities based on factors such as people, vehicles, goods, enterprises and places in port scenarios.

Due to the changing global environment, growing population and urbanisation in developing countries, cross-border ecommerce, and post-pandemic new normal, port management is facing more and more challenges. During the conference, Zhou Yi, managing partner at Deloitte China, said: “Ports connect ecosystem stakeholders and supply chains. Therefore, they need to have core competitiveness for sustainable development, which will facilitate innovation across the value chain to support cross-border trade and other activities.”

He said there were five factors driving the modernisation of ports – population, sustainable development, new patterns in business and trade, global environmental changes, and technological developments.

“To be successful, ports must fully leverage new technologies to respond to new demands, achieve connectivity across all scenarios, process and utilise massive amounts of data more efficiently, adapt to green ecosystems, make sustainable development a competitive advantage, and build a collaborative ecosystem for economic zones near the ports,” he said.

As cross-border ecommerce gathers momentum in the increasingly globalised world, there is added regulatory pressure towards trade management and facilitation. In addition, the pandemic has also brought on inspection and quarantine responsibilities to customs worldwide.

The main goals of port digitalisation are ensuring trade safety, improving clearance efficiency, cracking down on smuggling and increasing customs tax revenue collection.

“A multinational enterprise with businesses in 170 countries, Huawei has an international vision on port modernisation,” said Augustine Chiew, chief customs expert at Huawei. “We hope to work with customs and ecosystem partners to develop secure, convenient and efficient solutions to help nations build world-class ports.”

Huawei’s smart port offering leverages technologies such as converged communications, AI, big data, and cloud computing to build an integrated digital foundation achieving synergy between cloud, network, edge and device. It focuses on four areas: intelligent customs clearance, visualised collaborative command, convenient clearance services, and efficient comprehensive management.

Working closely with customs ecosystem partners, scenarios such as integrated online service platform, smart customs clearance and inspection, in-transit goods supervision, surveillance command centre, and port campus management have been developed. These can facilitate the integration of ports and logistics, enabling smooth port operations and efficient customs supervision.

In particular, the smart customs clearance module integrates computing, storage, network and security capabilities. It brings together intelligent checkpoint, customs clearance system, and surveillance and command services, helping ports build one-stop smart customs clearance capabilities quickly. With this, the average deployment time is reduced by 60% and the vehicle clearance time to seconds, increasing the overall intelligence and clearance efficiency of ports.

“Based on the digital platform, Huawei is building a campus IOC and fully connected campus network to provide ubiquitous smart terminal awareness,” said Nadim Abdulrahim from Huawei. “The IOC facilitates personnel access, intelligent vehicle identification, all-domain situational awareness, emergency risk control, campus perimeter alarm, campus video patrol, intelligent pandemic prevention and control, and customs clearance situational awareness, covering people, vehicles, objects and places all on one screen. It helps improve campus operation and service efficiency and achieves a truly secure and convenient smart campus.”

Chongqing Lianglu-Cuntan Free Trade Port Area is a bonded zone among 14 in China and the only one among them that has both an airport and a water port. At Huawei Connect, Shi Zhiyong, director of the smart city administration office of Chongqing Lianglu-Cuntan Free Trade Port Area, shared his experience of digital transformation.

“Based on Huawei’s top-level planning, infrastructure network and digital platform capabilities, the port area drives transformation in organisation, management, processes, personnel and facilities and develops five smart applications and a command centre,” said Zhiyong. “So far, the port area now has 13 intelligent checkpoints, which enable customs clearance within seconds.”

A converged communications and IoT network has been built to achieve intelligent management of nearly 50,000 municipal facilities, covering the entire port area. The port can now access transportation big data, which address problems such as traffic congestion, illegal parking and speeding.

“With Huawei, the port area has built an industry-leading smart brain, which is now the centre for information, surveillance, command, coordination and emergency response,” said Zhiyong. “Operation status is now visible, with events controllable, and services much more manageable.”