Port Terminals: Giants Facing Security Challenges
Shipping ports are famously known as high-traffic areas where tons of goods are constantly coming and going. With this much movement within the ports the need for an adaptable, integrated security system is clear. Definitely, security is basic for ports, and it goes beyond the mere installation of large amounts of cameras and choosing which brand to use. These large and complex facilities need specific solutions catered for issues unique to them.
Typically, ports start with CCTV and access control solutions. Currently, more smart features are being added, like license plate recognition (LPR) for trucks and containers. With authorities demanding port terminals keep their recordings for a long period of time, advanced video storage capabilities are also needed.
But one of the biggest challenges for port terminals is determined by the size of the harbor. Covering a vast amount of land (and water!), the security solution needs to be able to not only cover all of it with ease, but have the flexibility to offer varied applications in different areas. For example, the dockyard might not need to track incoming ships the same way the harbor side would.
As integrators, our responsibility when initiating a port project is to understand its operation, its critical areas and the problems they face daily so we can create a custom solution.
Furthermore, we must ensure that the customer is comfortable with the solution, both with the technology and the ease of use. Typically, we create a trial phase at the customer’s office, recreating a scene and letting them try to use the solution so they can see how it works.
Specifically in Mexico, ports’ investments in security have increased because they are aware of the fact that security is a tool that can help them with more than just security, often creating significant savings on operational costs.
Responding to the needs of the customer requires working with technology partners that understand the customer’s needs in an integral way. Milestone Systems from the beginning has been very easy to work with because their solutions are scalable, flexible and robust. Working with Milestone also means working with their massive community of partners, who offer an endless amount of opportunities for our customers’ solutions.
Recently, we worked with the Port of Manzanillo (the most important port on the Mexican Pacific) on maintenance and updating their security system. We offered them the ability to grow even further, thanks to the support provided by our strategic technology partners.
by Juan Antonio Barrera, Senior Engineer, Reto Industrial SA de CV