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EMBA and GLEMBA Class of 2017 Visits to Incheon Port and TOPIS

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Incheon Port

Incheon Port

Knowing that we were visiting Incheon Port, our “Shipping and Logistics” study group had reported out on Incheon Port before we left on the trip. We understood the port to be a regional port, closest to Seoul, but not the largest port in South Korea.

We began with a three-screen (not 3-D) video of the Incheon Port Lock Gate. It’s 10 meters deep and took eight years to construct. It’s the largest lock gate in Asia. Ships have to rise to enter the port, which has eight piers and 48 berths. It’s conveniently located one hour from the Seoul airport, and it processes 147 million tons of freight each year. Fun fact: 1 million passengers pass through the Seoul Airport each year.)

The locking system also protects the port in emergency conditions such as typhoons, and it calms the waters for the ships that need to dock.

The port operations 24/7. Currently, the port can handle ships up to 8,000 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) and in two to three years will be able to handle ships with 12,000 TEUs. In 2016, the port processed 2.68 million TEU containers.

Once the movie finished, the screens ascended into the ceiling, and we were overlooking the port. We then saw a live simulation of how the locking system works.

The government controls the port, and Incheon was the first container terminal in Korea.

We then went on a tour of the port. Our visibility was limited. It was cold and wet on the outside, and we were warm on the inside. The port had thousands of cars (Chevy, Hyundai) waiting to be shipped to the Middle East. It had huge silos that we learned were filled with fertilizer. Our guide also indicated that Korea ships a lot of steel to China.


We visited the Transport Operations and Information Service — TOPIS — in the afternoon.

Seoul is the center of the world’s intelligent transportation systems (ITS). For those who know me from my previous career, Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) is a small part of ITS. Our host, Mr. Yang, executive director, was very welcoming. TOPIS is located several stories underground. In the event of a disaster, the room can be sealed and has food and supplies for the operators for 40 days.

There are three primary objectives of TOPIS:

• Maintain security

• Provide prompt support to military operations during war or warlike situations

• Equipped to handle NBC (nuclear, biological or chemical) situations

TPOIS has round-the-clock monitoring and a plan for responding to and recovering from disasters. We watched several videos of all of the capabilities that the center offers — for the most part traffic monitoring. It can shut down an entrance ramp when it is known that there’s a traffic incident ahead.

Incheon does have surveillance around the city. In addition to cameras from the tops of buildings, every bus has a camera that does live feeds. Cameras monitor when a bus passes an illegally parked car; then a second bus passes, and after two hours of buses passing that car, the car is issued a citation. The city collected over $1.3 billion (+/- $10.3 million USD) worth of automated citations last year.

There were only a handful of people on the floor, however, the floor can hold many people if necessary.

Pamela Foster Brady

Pamela Foster Brady

Pamela serves as the director of Executive MBA programs at UT Dallas. She previously served as a vice president, senior business development director, for Atkins, an international civil engineering firm. She has more than 25 years of experience managing large domestic and international projects. Pamela received her undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee and her MBA from The University of Texas at Dallas. Read more articles

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