Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2022.
Container ports are highly suitable infrastructures to be represented as “digital twins”, which are exact virtual representations in terms of positionality, scale, and dynamism. Since both physical and virtual representation should be indistinguishable, the digital representation (the digital twin) can be used for terminal operations and simulation. This is particularly the case for terminal automation, which requires a highly accurate digital representation for automated guided vehicles and automated gantry cranes to operate and navigate within a facility composed of a large number of mobile (cranes, containers, vehicles) and immobile (routes, storage, yards, piers, buildings) elements.
The above representation is a digital twin of Pusan Newport International Terminal (PNIT), a container terminal facility in Busan, South Korea. Its purpose is to offer an accurate simulation environment to plan the allocation of ships, berths, and yard equipment for improved container handling and throughput. This is particularly important as Busan if a major transshipment hub in East Asia, highly connected to Chinese, Japanese, and North American trade.