Home » Ports/Terminals » Mobile harbor offers more savings, less pollution

If the ship cannot come to the harbor, then the harbor must come to the ship.

This in essence is the philosophy behind the creation of a mobile harbor in South Korea.

Government-funded researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) recently unveiled the Mobile Harbour, a lean, light system for unloading container ships even if the coastal area is too shallow for them to dock.

The researchers believe the mobile harbor will revolutionize international shipping.

The concept involves specially designed cargo barges heading out to meet and unload gigantic container ships along any coastline. The vessels will have the advantage of being able to navigate shallow water and squeeze through rivers. At the shore, the vessels will then unload their cargo onto specially designed receiving platforms.

The inventors said the mobile harbor has many advantages:

  • Eliminate time spent waiting to use crowded ports
  • Bolster anti-terror efforts by keeping container ships with potentially dangerous cargo away from populated areas
  • Cut the cost of shipping goods by road from larger ports
  • Reduce carbon emissions because it will require the use of fewer cars and minimize traffic jams
  • Deliver more goods via sea routes without necessarily constructing new ports or expanding existing ones

The mobile harbor is ideal for small developing markets that do not have deep-water ports, or the budgets to engineer them, KAIST officials said.

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