International Container Terminal Services, Inc.’s (ICTSI) flagship terminal, the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), recently installed a new state-of the-art gate facility that will not only boost operations and security at the Philippines’ premier container terminal, but further improve safety of cargo through weighing of all boxes passing through the MICT.
“We are committed to continuously improving operations and customer service at the MICT. We are incorporating a totally new system, wherein we will know the actual count of trucks inside the terminal at anytime; and an exact recording of the container’s weight and its defects, if any,” says Francis Andrews, ICTSI Senior Vice President and MICT General Manager. Andrews adds: “The new gate system will benefit clients and port users in that they are assured of even faster and more efficient service, which all redound to lesser costs on their part. We will overhaul the terminal’s import and export cycle to better serve ICTSI clients.”
In its initial phase of implementation, all containers (export boxes) entering the terminal were weighed. This enabled MICT planners to accurately plan vessel stowage to ensure the stability and safeness of a vessel before leaving the terminal. Weighed containers also ensure better yard operations as containers are placed at the right slots. The sequence of moving containers thus becomes faster and efficient with accurate container weights, benefitting the shipping lines. The new gate system also provides actual and real-time count of trucks in the terminal to better manage traffic inside the MICT especially during peak hours of operations.
The new gate further strengthened the terminal’s security capabilities, especially compliance with the ISPS Code and maritime trade security regulations of the US Department of Homeland Security. Andrews reveals that the added port security also benefits MICT’s surrounding environs: “Metro Manila (the Philippines’ capital) is assured that as a transit point, the MICT’s vulnerability to terror attacks is lessened as we now have the capability to detect radioactive materials.”
New gates features
Portals with cameras: Six monochrome area scan cameras capture the full images of a container’s left, right, top, front, and rear back door sides. The truck’s license plate number and the driver’s image are also captured then stored in the system for future reference. Through optical character recognition (OCR), container numbers are also automatically captured by the system. Conditions of a container like damages are manually flagged by a checker from a remote office.
Kiosk: Drivers transact business through a computer kiosk installed on each lane of the gate facility. Each kiosk has the following:
• Biometric finger print scanner: The infrared optical scanner reads the driver’s fingerprints and verifies information against the database of registered drivers.
• Bar code card reader: Reads the driver identification cards and terminal documents.
• Voice over IP speaker and call button audio system: Enables two-way communication between drivers and gate checkers.
• LCD screen: Provides instructions and messages to guide the driver through the gate transaction.
• Printer: Prints Truck Instruction Document (TID) and Equipment
Interchange Receipt (EIR) after execution of every transaction (gate-in or gate-out). Once the transaction is completed, the TID or EIR will be printed and once pulled out from the kiosk the gate’s barrier arm will lift up allowing the truck to enter the terminal. Radiation Portal Monitors (RPM): All containers will undergo scanning for traces of radioactive material. Installed before the weigh bridge, the container is scanned as the truck passes through the portals towards the kiosks. If the container is found positive with radioactive elements, an alarm will be sent to the Central Alarm Station (CAS) and Local Alarm Station (LAS). The truck driver is then directed to proceed to the secondary inspection area. Secondary inspection will be conducted using handheld portable scanners. The CAS will decide if the container will be released or will require tertiary inspection.
Weighing scales: A four lane gate entry and exit will be available for weighing. This system will ensure an accurate weighing of containerised cargoes coming in and going out the terminal. The gate system’s software was developed by ICTSI IT unit, Container Terminal Systems Solutions Inc., and interfaces with existing terminal applications and security systems.
CCTV cameras and Radiation Portal Monitors (RPMs) will also be installed at the terminal’s quayside to scan offloaded import containers. Two more RPMs will be installed at the entry gates of the Container Freight Stations to scan loose export cargo. The existing East Gate and West Gate will also be upgraded with the installation of cameras and electric boom barriers. This will be the basis of the remote checker in processing gate out transaction. A single shot of every camera will be stored and could be retrieved any time.