Greater ChinaPorts and LogisticsTech

Qingdao develops skyrail to shift boxes

The Port of Qingdao in northeast China has unveiled the next chapter in its ongoing ambition to be among the most tech savvy maritime destinations in the world.

The state-run entity’s new skyrail moves boxes above ground, often on to autonomous trucks, in a pioneering move that it says frees up much space in the busy port.

The first 620 m stretch of the skyrail was opened last week. The full project will see the aerial container handling system stretch 9.5 km across the port, handling 1.5m containers a year.

The electric overhead rail system covers just 30% of equivalent road space, helping solve traffic congestion in the port as well as cutting down on pollution levels.

Qingdao has long served as a petri-dish for Chinese port tech.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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