As the largest port in the world, the Port of Shanghai spans 3,619km² and handles over 744 million tonnes of cargo annually. If its size alone does not make it difficult to secure, the thousands of people from ships, trucks and cargo companies coming and going daily and the massive waterways leading into docks contribute to the security challenges. Regardless of size or the types of vesselscoming into harbour, ports are challenging security environments. Port securitydepartments must rely on technology such as IP video management systems (VMS) and ultra-megapixel cameras with longrange zoom capabilities; these help keep an eye on incoming vessels, watch people moving through the terminals, and detect any suspicious activities or possible threats before they wreak havoc on operations or people’s safety. However, more international ports are also looking for better ways to improve effectiveness in their operations and response. They realise that they can achieve this by combining IP VMS with other security technologies such as access control, intercom, license plate recognition, perimeter intrusion detection, radar and vessel detection. While most might consider security the main objective to implement such technologies, including protecting people and assets, ports are leveraging their security investments to also improve operations. Mimicking the likes of international airports such as Amsterdam Schiphol that uses an advanced video surveillance system to dispatch more customs agents when they notice above-average passenger congestion or to adjust baggage carousel designations in case planes are delayed, ports are increasingly seeing the benefits of technology beyond security. For ports, operational benefits might include keeping an audit trail of vessels and trucks coming to pick up and drop-off cargo, dispatching more customs officers to greet incoming passenger ships, or using video evidence to dispute liability claims or damaged property. But how are ports implementing these technologies? And what system features help to ensure a successful and costefficient installation of multiple systems?
Five systems to integrate with video surveillance
Access control integration – Video surveillance and access control are some of the most common integrations in any security application. In a port environment, access control readers can be deployed at the main entrances, restricted areas and port facilities. Since so much technology has evolved in access control, ports are offered many interesting options such as all-in-one locks that provide a more simplified installation, wireless locks which are ideal for hard-to-reach locations, and biometric readers or handheld readers that suit more critical areas. For instance, the Manchester Terminal, a private marine terminal in Houston, Texas, implemented a governmentrun security programme called TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) which provides a tamperresistant biometric credential to maritime workers requiring unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities. They accomplished this by adding TWICcompliant handheld readers with identification and biometric matching software which allowed the security guards to process credentials and inspect trucks.