The city of Houston is home to one of the largest ports in the United States and the numbers speak for themself. The Port of Houston:
- Has around 200 port terminals.
- It is responsible for over 247 million tons of cargo passing through each year.
- Holds the title as the largest Gulf Coast port and is second in the country in total tonnage.
There are around 3 million shipping containers that combine for import and exports annually, the port is in a key strategic location concerning both Gulf Coast drilling and West Texas drilling, and more than 8,200 vessels pass through every year. Simply put, a lot going on in the Port of Houston. That means, there’s also a lot to keep track of. Order fulfillment, storage availability, keeping tabs on inventory for a variety of reasons, tracking the necessary components needed to transport cargo, the list goes on and on. Ports are increasingly gaining more information and data to keep track of but without the necessary tools, shipments are in danger of being lost, forgotten, delayed, or even stolen. With billions of dollars on the line, information overload is not an option, and ports all over the world must continue to find ways to improve their logistics.
This is where the power of 5G comes in.
5G is already here but the 5G that will be put into place and evolve over the next decade will help a variety of industries improve the way they conduct business. The amount of data 5G is allowing us to send and analyze is unlike any other commercial wireless communication. Computers will be capable of performing tasks that are currently not possible due to the lack of download speed and heightened latency present in the current connection, but 5G is aiming to eliminate such obstacles. Ports all over the world will have the opportunity to take advantage of this emerging technology for many different positive benefits. Get to know how the future of importing and exporting will change for the better as ports around the world embrace 5G technology and improve their methods.
Improved Communications to Streamline Shipping
In any line of work, communication is key and when taking into account the numerous moving pieces working at a port, communication becomes of the utmost importance. 5G will help port terminals and ships navigate more safely even though unfavorable weather. Improved communications will help order fulfillment by allowing different companies such as trucks transporting or picking up goods, ships, and loading crews to work with greater collaboration. Overall, 5G is taking communication to the next level which will allow for better streamlining and improved outcomes.
Automation and Collaboration That Reduce Costs
Over the next decade, 5G is preparing to deliver further automation in ways never before possible. Autonomous vessels, cranes, vehicles, and more will be capable of delivering, loading, unloading, accounting for, and virtually any other function while working together without the need of humans. The increase in download speeds and reduction in latency will allow machines to work in real-time while solving complex problems that can be translated to ports across the world. Autonomous cars will be able to be unloaded by automated cranes onto auto-piloted ships and so on. This can be especially helpful when handling hazardous materials. The future means machines can work together that can reduce injuries, labor costs, and position human capital into more essential roles.
Artificial Intelligence Will Improve Logistics and Safety
The prospect of what AI will be capable of with 5G is impressive, to say the least. Proper logistics is a must for ports to ensure that all of the moving pieces necessary to complete orders and transport cargo are working as one. Using machine learning and advanced algorithms, AI will help companies get the most out of their shipping routes, loading operations, transport methods, and more. AI can help predict obstacles that could harm workers’ safety or hinder the shipment of cargo before they arise. 5G is powering the machines of tomorrow to predict tomorrow so that ports can make decisions today that lead to greater successes.
5G Helps Keep Ports Competitive
Just like any other business, ports work to remain competitive to retain business and generate profits. The Port of Houston is no exception. Staying competitive using the latest innovations and technology such as 5G connectivity will help the port remain a viable option for importing and exporting for years to come. With its incredible positioning to millions of potential consumers and a gateway to multiple oilfield services, 5G will play a role in helping the port and a variety of industries assist customers in ways we can only begin to imagine.
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