Guangzhou rolls out ‘smart Customs’

Guangzhou Customs has decided that its trial “robo-inspections” have worked so well in Nansha that it will roll them out citywide this month.

Cargo checking conducted by AI-guided robotics technology has proved remarkably efficient, according to local media. With an AI algorithm and augmented reality video feeds, successful cargo inspections at the second phase of Nansha Port have been boosted from 300 containers to 500 containers on a daily basis, according to southcn.com.

The systems are designed to conduct initial data analysis based on inputs submitted by shippers, before the cargo is inspected by officers. This has significantly shortened the inspection time required, with early morning batches of cargo being cleared by 9am, whereas previously shippers would have had to wait until the afternoon.

The Customs teams are also equipped with a “remote coordination” system, designed to address technical problems that come up, for instance, in cases where officers cannot identify certain chemical products. Running on a 5G network, experts are able to access high-resolution videos of the cargo remotely, taken by smart mobile devices used by officers, via an online platform called Danbin. 

Beyond cargo inspection, Guangzhou Customs also plans to apply the advanced technologies to the whole chain of Customs processing, including mail, visitors, cross-border e-commerce and quarantine, according to an official quoted by Guangzhou Daily.

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