Tuesday, February 26, 2008

[Korea.net News, Science / Tech, January 28 2008] Container ports to get new ID technology

All container ports will get new identification devices from Friday (Feb. 1).

The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministries said the country’s largest port of Busan adopted radio frequency identification technology two years ago to improve freight tracking. The technology uses chips embedded in products to send and process information via radio frequencies. The data is sent to customers, logistics companies and relevant institutions on a real-time basis.

The ministry initiated the ubiquitous port project in 2005 and had all 14 container terminals in Busan install the devices by the end of 2006. Ten more ports in Incheon, Pyeongtaek, Gunsan and Gwangyang installed them last year.

The u-port provides real-time reports and alerts on freight routes and missed shipments. Unlike a barcode, which needs direct contact with a scanner, the radio frequency code is read wirelessly.

The ministry said Korea’s u-port project will greatly cut logistics costs and enhance port productivity. The project is part of a government’s plan to enhance the efficiency and security of its global overseas shipping.

The radio frequency system enables streamlined operations with automated advance notification as to when containers reach port. It also records key data such as freights location, their security and changes in light, temperature and humidity of the containers. The data is automatically sent to ports, shippers and container carriers.

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