A US port will be one of the first to install a 5G wireless network to enable communications between assets in a container terminal
Port of Seattle, Washington state will invest in a long-term evolution (LTE) and 5G network in Terminal 5. It has contracted Nokia and Carrix Inc subsidiary Tideworks Technology to deploy a digital automation cloud (DAC) in the container terminal.
This comes after successful proof-of-concept trials of Nokia’s DAC at SSA Terminal’s Oakland International Container Terminal in California and as Nokia signs an agreement with Cargotec subsidiary Kalmar to combine their communications and cargo handling technology.
SSA’s Terminal 5 in Port of Seattle is part of the Northwest Seaport Alliance, one of the largest container gateways in North America by total combined inbound and outbound TEU volume.
Installing the LTE/5G network is part of a major modernisation project at Terminal 5 as it is upgraded to handle ultra-large container ships. This Nokia private wireless network will augment existing wifi for enhanced redundancy and availability, to increase efficiency, worker safety and terminal handling performance by reducing the complexity of port flow.
The Nokia private network will be deployed over Globalstar-licensed Band 53 and Band 48 (Citizen band radio service-licensed) to enable seamless switching between bands and cells and provide multiple layers of redundancy. A geo-redundant core in the port will provide secure, highly available and low-latency data connectivity and control.
DAC connectivity across Terminal 5 operations will be available indoors, in cranes, trucks and lifts and will be used for communications between logistics parties.
Nokia will supple ruggedised tablets and smartphones for terminal-wide, mobile voice communications and yard inventory applications.
Tideworks Technology vice president of IT Amanda Gress said Nokia DAC platform was proven during rigorous testing at SSA Terminal’s in Oakland. “It is a logical next step to improve our terminal operating system reliability and ramp up future operational applications that require reliable and secure high-bandwidth performance,” Ms Gress said.
“We look forward to securing and supporting the same kind of mobility, safety and productivity gains at SSA’s Terminal 5 facility in Seattle.”
Nokia vice president of US enterprise sales for cloud and networking services Matt Young said installations in container terminals illustrate the benefits of private wireless in a port and in intermodal operations.
“Nokia DAC enables fast, resilient, cable-free operational connectivity,” he said. “It also incorporates voice services and an edge computing platform that can handle terminal operating system data and industry-specific applications.”
Nokia and Kalmar have joined forces to provide communications and cargo handling technology for ports and intermodal terminals, installing private wireless networks with Kalmar’s cargo handling equipment.
Kalmar president of automation solutions Antti Kaunonen said port and terminal operators can leverage combined technologies for productivity gains. “By integrating our solutions with the latest Nokia digitalisation innovation, we can deliver a new generation of offerings that transform port terminal operations,” he said. “Secure, reliable, high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity is an essential part of that equation.”
Nokia and Kalmar will incorporate Nokia 4G and 5G private wireless for use with straddle carriers, automated stacking carriers and rubber-tyred gantry cranes.
This collaboration agreement builds on an arrangement in 2019 between Kalmar and private LTE network provider Ukkoverkot (now Edzcom) and Nokia to build wireless digitalisation infrastructure for ports and terminals.