Visy secures DFDS Nordic Riverside Terminal



Michel Demeyer, Visy Oy, Boutersem, Belgium


Visy, the Finland-based optical character recognition (OCR) and access control specialist for ports, container terminals and border control solutions, has implemented the state-of the-art Visy Terminal Gate solution at the new DFDS Nordic Riverside Terminal in Immingham, UK. The terminal officially opened on 12 July 2006.

“This is the most advanced terminal access control system operating in a Ro-Ro terminal,” says Visy Business Development Manager, Michel Demeyer.

Terminal design

The key factors in the design of the business processes and the choice of technology for the new terminal were automation, security and compliance with ISPS.

Gate entry procedure

At the single terminal access lane, Visy has installed a single drive through Terminal Gate system that captures high resolution damage inspection images and performs license plate recognition, container and trailer number recognition, IMO label recognition and volume measurement for each vehicle movement. All the captured data and images are then transferred as XML to the DFDS GTMS terminal operating system (TOS), where this information is verified against the database with booked trailers or containers.

When a vehicle is not booked, requires manual handling or has hazardous goods, GTMS sends a message for the vehicle to go to lane 1 or 2 of the secondary In-Gate, where the unit can be handled manually. When the vehicle is empty but booked with all Gate-In formalities available, the vehicle is sent to the automatic gate entry (Gate-In) lanes (lane 3 and 4). A dynamic display provides the driver with this information while he is driving in the direction of the secondary gate lanes. In each of those secondary gate lanes Visy again checks the license plate to ensure that information to the driver can be sent to the correct lane driver kiosk.

Each of the four lanes is equipped with a driver kiosk that has a touch screen panel PC, a driver camera, an intercom system, and a ticket printer. At the kiosk, the driver obtains the license plate number that is recognised, the export container or trailer number of the unit that he is bringing, and the import container or trailer number that he has booked to pick-up. When this information is correct the driver presses the ‘enter’ button on the touch screen PC, the DFDS GTMS system checks and accepts that information and sends all information to be printed on the ticket printer. This ticket tells the driver where he has to go on the terminal drop, the unit and where he can find his import unit. When the driver takes his ticket, a driver image is recorded and the traffic barrier opens to allow access to the terminal.

Gate exit procedure

When drivers have collected the import unit they can proceed to one of the four gate exit (Gate-Out) lanes, where the Visy OCR system recognises their license plates and containers or trailer numbers in motion. Once they arrive at the Gate-Out driver kiosk, the driver confirms again that the license plate number, container or trailer number displayed is correct and he adds the release security number that is required for permission to leave the terminal with that specific unit. If all checks are performed and the driver is entering the correct release number, an import ticket is printed and the traffic barrier to leave the DFDS Nordic Riverside Terminal opens automatically.


Remote gates

In addition to these gates, Visy is controlling two remote gates where traffic moves units between the new and the existing terminal to meet the ISPS requirements. Ro-Ro trailer numbers are much more difficult to recognise than ISO containers because the information is not in a standardised position and format. To automate the terminal as much as possible, the DFDS Nordic Riverside Terminal has requested and agreed with their customers to make an effort to put the trailer numbers in a specific format and location on there trailers.

Network design

Because the different checkpoints that had to be covered were spread physically over the terminal area, a single mode fiberoptic network was put in place to centralise all the necessary data and images in the Gate-In computer room. The complete Visy Terminal Gate solution can be monitored remotely by the DFDS Nordic Terminal IT team and receive remote upgrades and interventions from the Visy specialist in Tampere, Finland.

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