Chinese network and solutions provider Huawei has combined with Vodafone Hungary to create Europe’s first land-based intermodal logistics terminal using 5G technology.
The terminal opened in October near the village of Fenyeslitke in Eastern Hungary and cost USD95 million to build.
It 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 (EWG), Hungary is back on the map of international rail logistics,” said Janos Talosi, chief executive officer of the investor East-West Intermodal Logistics company.
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 and a 20-meter high rubber-tired crane.
The cranes, supplied by Austrian company Kunz, are equipped with 20 high-resolution cameras for the images. With the help of 5G, these real-time images can enable the workers to control the cranes — as if they were working in the crane cabins.
EWG also has a significant capacity for the 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 in October.
“Our vision was for EWG to become a gateway for the new Silk Road,” Talosi told the Xinhua on-site following the opening ceremony.
The project is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative, which Talosi said explained the decision to opt for a private 5G network provided by Huawei.
From November 2022, the terminal is expected to handle 800 tons 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.