Europe's first 5G-operated logistics terminal opens in Hungary
Europe's first land-based intermodal logistics terminal using 5G technology opened near the village of Fenyeslitke in eastern Hungary on Tuesday.
The 5G network required for the East-West Gate (EWG) project was built by Vodafone Hungary and the network equipment was supplied by Huawei of China.
The terminal, built at a cost of over 40 billion forints (95.3 million U.S. dollars), will be able to handle up to one million twenty-foot containers (TEUs) per year, making it the largest such facility on the continent in terms of theoretical capacity and area.
"With the construction of the East-West Gate, Hungary is back on the map of international rail logistics," Janos Talosi, chief executive officer (CEO) of the investor East-West Intermodal Logistics company, adding that the most advanced technologies available have been incorporated into the terminal, making transport faster and more accurate.
"Our vision was for EWG to become a gateway for the new Silk Road," he told Xinhua on site following the opening ceremony.
China is promoting modern technology within the framework of its Belt and Road Initiative, hence it is no coincidence that EWG opted for a state-of-the-art private 5G network provided by Huawei, according to Talosi.
EWG is the first terminal in Europe to control cranes remotely using 5G technology. The terminal has one 41-meter wide and two 28-meter wide giant cranes on rails, as well as a 20-meter high rubber-tyred crane.
The cranes, supplied by Austrian company Kunz, are equipped with 20 high-resolution cameras the images of which, with the help of 5G, can be viewed in real time at the center of the terminal, enabling the workers to control the cranes as if they were working in the crane cabins,
The primary function of the terminal is to transship incoming rail shipments, which is necessary because, while 1,435-millimeter gauge rails are used in Europe, 1,520-millimeter gauge is used in Russia and many Asian countries.
EWG also has a significant capacity for transshipment of agricultural products and could soon become the largest rail hub for Ukraine's food exports. The first train carrying agricultural goods from Ukraine rolled into the terminal during the opening ceremony.
From November 2022, the terminal is expected to be capable of handling 800 tonnes of grain and 450 cubic meters of sunflower oil per hour, making it the largest rail hub for Ukrainian food exports, according to the company.