The demand for automated vehicle counting and logistics monitoring is increasing with the growing necessity to accurately track and transfer goods in shipping ports. Today, technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, IoT, blockchain, vision AI, etc are enabling ports to be ‘smarter’ by automating its operations. Smart Ports are technologically advanced shipping ports that combine digital innovations and technologies to streamline its operations.
Every port monitors and handles shipments in a complex environment. In the majority of port terminals, tracking and tracing cargo is still carried out manually using primitive methods. Manually tracking the daily traffic in a busy port can be a herculean task, often hard for human operators to do on their own. What if the CCTV cameras that are installed in the port’s premises can count the incoming and outgoing traffic happening there?
For example, the Port of Miami uses real-time video analytics to remotely and centrally monitor and manage hundreds of pre-existing analog cameras and receive real-time insights to streamline the port operations. Also, the Port of Singapore Authority is also using intelligent video analytics to better comprehend daily functioning at ports to give it a rapid response capability.
AI-powered real-time video analytics opens up a wide range of opportunities for port authorities to streamline its operations. One of the main benefits is in automating vehicle counting and logistics monitoring. Typically, a day in a port witnesses thousands of vehicles entering and exiting the premises, loading and unloading different commodities, etc. Manually keeping track of these vehicles are highly prone to human errors. But, automating vehicle counting and logistics monitoring using vision AI, enables port authorities to get real-time data on the number of vehicles that entered/exited port premises, categorize the number of vehicles based on its model, make, company ownership, etc.
The possibilities are not just limited to counting the vehicles to understand traffic in ports, but by keeping a close eye on valuable cargo – cameras can guard the ports against theft. It could generate alerts for missing shipments, unauthorized vehicles, and incorrect placement of cargo. Let us now analyze the different outcomes of port monitoring using video analytics-enabled surveillance systems.
Logistics monitoring in shipping ports
Serial numbers of shipping containers that are arriving at ports can be automatically identified to help manage terminals, yards, and customs. Logistics operations can be automated in real-time and analyze the orientation of containers for better safety. Our AI-powered real-time video analytics software, Emotyx can effectively identify license plates in real-time. It can also identify the type of vehicle and much more information from just the data from a CCTV camera. The video below shows a demo of automated number plate detection of Emotyx.
AI-enabled analytics can avoid collisions at ports by assessing bridge clearance and shore traffic. It can also help in the ‘Container Placement on Ships’- detecting the positioning and placement of containers in vessels to avoid mishaps.
Video analytics gathers data over time, and this data can provide crucial operational insights for streamlining port logistics. It lets you understand the average time a ship is in the dock, time taken by ships to unload, reload, and move out. It could even generate heat maps of the port that has most vehicular or shipping traffic by analyzing the movement patterns of ships and trucks. This enables port managers to optimize operations or plan for future expansion.
Security threats are multifaceted in shipping ports – operators need to track access control, vehicle movements, delivering the right containers to respective vessels, restricted area intrusions, unauthorized vessel crew, theft, and contraband cargo. The scale of these security-related challenges is quite massive. Most operators tackle these as a losing battle between the increasing threats and the limited resources to fight it -i.e., foot patrolling by guards and basic CCTV surveillance.
Video Analytics enabled command centers can alter the results drastically from mere observation to real-time cognitive monitoring. AI-enabled analytics can detect malicious or anomalous activity through technologies such as vehicle license plate tracking, facial recognition, shipment tracking, and intrusions or perimeter breaches.
The losses encountered at shipping facilities can be overcome with optimal storage and monitoring of cargo. When the shipments are not stored optimally at ports, there is roughly a 20% discrepancy of space reported and what actually exists in warehouses. Warehouses that report full capacity are actually only at 80% utilization. Similarly, the availability of space also has the same discrepancy; when it is reported 30% as available in actuality, it is closer to 10%. Video analytics can identify these space discrepancies effectively and propose solutions for optimal space usage.
The normal video surveillance of watching live footage for hours can be taken over by integrated control rooms enabled by video analytics. Control rooms can consolidate and analyze information from cameras installed inside and outside the port. It will generate real-time insights for improving response rates. Automating safety and security processes can help employees tremendously without the tedious monitoring of video, the continuous foot patrols, and the port operators could reassign workers to be redeployed to higher-value activities.
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Shipping volumes have taken a hit due to the pandemic, but the connected world requires the flow of goods to be met with freight. This could be the right time to weed out inefficiencies in port management and increase operational safety & security. Real-time video analytics software can turn CCTV video footage into quantifiable, actionable data, and enable port authorities to streamline its operations.