Modern ports are marvels of industrial design. Cities often grew up around ports that provided the economic lifeblood of the nation. The introduction of containers revolutionised shipping and, by extension, ports. In many cities, ports left urban centres completely as container ships became mind-bogglingly huge, carrying tens of thousands of containers bearing hundreds of thousands of tonnes of goods.
Modern ports are defined by their ability to accommodate the world’s biggest ships and their use of technology to drive efficiency and a greener environment. Hutchison Ports is leading the global industry in bringing world-class design to new and upgraded ports from China and Thailand to the UK and Sweden.
Just a few decades ago, Panamax ships were the biggest on the oceans, defined as the largest ships that could still traverse the Panama Canal. But now the monsters of the sea are the ULCVs – Ultra Large Container Vessels. Where once 300m-long berths sufficed to berth Panamax ships, newly constructed or expanded berths up to 500m long can host these giants and their even bigger successors to come. Currently, the ULCVs can accommodate over 24,000 TEU and stack up to 12 high on the ship deck. The containers from one such ship stacked one on top of the other would be higher than 440 Eiffel Towers!
Bigger ships demand design changes that can only be accommodated by the world’s biggest ports. Hutchison Ports’ Port of Felixstowe in the UK is one such port, along with the Port of Yantian in China and Thailand’s Laem Chabang Port. Hosting these colossi provides a competitive advantage over rival ports that do not have the capacity to unload and reload these huge vessels. Shipping lines prefer ports that can move large ships in and out quickly, off to make more money. But investments must be made to accommodate them.
Berths must be up to 500m long to host ULCVs. They can accommodate over 24,000 TEU and stack up to 12 high on the ship deck.
In addition to a longer quay, the designers must plan for dredging for the deeper draft of larger vessels (the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the keel). The longer quay must be more massive (ie, bulked up with concrete) to bear the weight of even bigger cranes. It must also be wider to deal with the increased traffic with more containers moving through more quickly. In short: more of everything!
Stepping off the quay, designers demand up to 30 hectares (300,000 sqm, the equivalent of 48 Old Trafford-sized football fields) of shore area per berth. In the past, 12 to 13 hectares would have sufficed for shoreside transport links, cranes and other facilities. But now, increased throughput demands more space for increased traffic and temporary storage of containers on the move.
Another advance in port design is the accommodation of hydrogen as a fuel source that has the potential to transform not just port operation but surrounding communities. The Port of Felixstowe is leading the way in greening the whole region surrounding their port by designing for a future with hydrogen input, processing and energy generation for their own remote-control and electric vehicles, visiting hydrogen fuel cell trucks and trains, and maybe even for ship power in the future (read more here).
Hutchison Ports Thailand (HPT) Terminal D at Laem Chabang Port Thailand is the first to feature AI-driven autonomous trucks that interact with other terminal equipment and trucks driven by people. The system at HPT Terminal D has seen trucks achieve autonomy driving Level 4 as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers, indicating total autonomy but in a defined area. In essence, the trucks drive themselves and look out for everyone and everything around them.
Semi-autonomous cranes work in tandem with remote operators to further increase efficiency at the port. A vast array of sensors, cameras and special lighting feeds information to the AI and the operator alike who work together to load and unload ships around the clock. The AI helps operators, working remotely from a comfortable office, to improve throughput time and reduce errors. The system is a vast improvement on the days when cranes were operated by solitary individuals who would eyeball loading manoeuvres while confined to a small cabin in the sky for entire shifts.
The trucks drive themselves and look out for everyone and everything around them.
Autonomous vehicles are outsized by even bigger robots – Automated Straddle Carriers (Auto-SCs) – that are coming to Hutchison Ports Stockholm. These are massive, mobile cranes up to 16m high, sporting two long legs to the ground with a supporting bridge in the middle. They can pick up containers, stack them up to three high and move them around the port without human intervention. Unlike trucks that can only carry one or two containers at a time and which idle when they have to wait, Auto-SCs can decide to stack containers in an appropriate part of the port and come back to them after they complete other work. They communicate with the Hutchison Ports global in-house software, nGen, and a fleet management system that provide instructions and oversight, respectively.
This, plus other automated elements, means that the whole port can run with only 34 staff, making it one of the most efficient in the world. These systems also reduce staff exposure to the elements (think Swedish winter) while allowing a more diverse workforce to handle more throughput from comfortable offices rather than from the dockside.
Design for the 21st century remains challenging as port operators have to consider the implications of ever-bigger ships and automation factors that may demand more land and investment.
Design for the 21st century remains challenging as port operators have to consider the implications of ever-bigger ships and automation factors that demand more land and investment. Automation is helping to break throughput records as bigger and bigger ships can be loaded and unloaded. The biggest ships in the world today can carry up to 24,000 TEU. But renovation is expensive, disruptive and not to be taken lightly. So designers have to ensure that they make the best of the immense investment demanded to build competitive, efficient ports. They will create 21st-century ports that are bigger, faster and smarter at bringing the world to their doorstep.
Superdrug’s nurses are taking on the toughest COVID-19 has to offer by volunteering to serve on their nation’s front lines, fighting the disease.
COVID-19 may be invisible to the eye, but not to scientists working with Northumbrian Water to trace its spread by sampling wastewater.
Team Watsons Water got creative and worked round the clock to deliver life-saving PPE to Hongkongers.
The Li Ka Shing Foundation sprang into action early in the coronavirus pandemic to provide desperately needed personal protective equipment to medical staff.
High-performance management at HK Electric is supercharged through education delivered by a host of internal and external professors at the HK Electric Institute.
The high-pressure crucible of Hong Kong’s shopping environment seems like it would leave little room for learning among retail professionals. But A.S. Watson’s commitment to higher performance creates opportunities for promising staff to elevate their game at its very own Retail Academy.
Tactical donations make a difference to help tackle one, or even several, problems. But a series of strategic donations will bolster the entire biological, bioengineering and biomedical establishment in Hong Kong with world-class platforms and integrative thinking.
Vanishing bee populations are a major problem for global agriculture. 3 Austria’s 5G network is a key part of a tech solution that puts beekeepers ‘inside’ their hives to solve problems for Man’s invaluable helpers.
Port of Felixstowe’s 5G plans not only put the power of massive dockside cranes in the delicate digits of desk-driving derrick directors, but also connect a legion of sensors to help train AI that could save Hutchison Ports millions of pounds in maintenance efficiency.
5G is a platform to build dreams on and 3 Hong Kong is helping dreamers to climb on board. It works with small businesses and the community to help them overcome COVID-19 challenges and to unite their artistic vision, with an eye on the stars.
The Port of Felixstowe is leading the hydrogen revolution building in the UK. It aims to transform not only its own operations but the regional eco-economy too. First, the Port – then trains, trucks and homes will follow.
The UK aims to decarbonise the entire rail network. Eversholt Rail, a UK rail company, is leading the way in providing zero-emission hydrogen-powered trains for the UK. Trainspotting is about to get a whole lot greener.
Australian Gas Infrastructure Group is proving itself a public ally by greening the gas supply of Australian homes and taking the first steps to deliver 100% emission-free hydrogen to replace gas.
Watsons’ ninth-generation store design ethos is transforming stores into experiential spaces, making the most of their O+O strategy and aligning Watsons with customers’ green hearts. Delivering human connection and a commitment to environmental stewardship is incorporated into features in stores from Hong Kong to Türkiye.
Power plant design demands that everyone — from staff and neighbours to dolphins and birds — is kept safe. HK Electric and Canadian Power may be an ocean apart, but both have ingenious design elements and technology that enable them to take on explosive fuels and turn them into a safe stream of electricity, powering people’s lives and entire economies.
The promise of telemedicine is being delivered by A.S. Watson from the UK to Asia. Patients can jump the queue to see doctors in minutes and get home delivery of medicines. The days of reading year-old magazines at the doctor’s clinic are done – online medicine is being delivered NOW!
PharusDx, a CK Life Sciences and CK Hutchison investee, is developing a test that would provide fast, accurate diagnosis of not one but multiple types of cancer – all from a single blood sample. And it is using AI to do it.
HUTCHMED’s global Phase III registration trial of its colorectal cancer-fighting drug, fruquintinib, aims to gain the regulatory approvals needed to bring it to cancer patients around the world. A 14-country study is the next step in bringing new options to doctors and new hope to families struggling with cancer.
CK Hutchison’s Global Climate Action Conference is the first gathering of business CEOs to share how they are setting targets, taking action and proving their accountability on reducing their carbon footprint. Sphere’s three-part series on the Conference provides a sense of what was covered in depth for over
CKHH companies are enacting adaptive strategies to mitigate climate change, including leading the charge in the hydrogen revolution. Day 2 of the Global Climate Action Conference explored how CKHH companies deal with climate-change extreme events and how they are transitioning to climate-friendly energy generation.
CKHH companies aren’t just spending money on traditional renewable energy – they are investing in original R&D to bring innovative solutions to bear. Pilot projects advance to become invaluable solutions to mass adoption of green technologies that just might save us all.
Hutchison Ports is revolutionising port operations by welcoming a new family – Veronica and
A.S. Watson has long been at the forefront of AI adoption. From back-end operations to putting a virtual makeover smile on customers’ faces, it has its own dedicated AI teams coding, testing and delivering the future. A.S. Watson? Welcome to AI Watson!
A global conglomerate like the CK Hutchison Group generates an astounding amount of data across industries. Data are the lifeblood of the AI revolution; it was inevitable that someone would ask “How can we harness the power of these data to power the future?”
The answer is CKDelta.