Milestone Video Helps 2nd Largest Seaport in Europe


Covering the size of 20,000 football fields, the Port of Antwerp is the largest seaport in Belgium. It faces many challenges in its daily operations, ranging from environmental to safety, security and logistics issues. With a central location in the industrial heartland of Western Europe and a capacity to handle the biggest ships in the world, the port is experiencing high traffic, both in terms of freight, port users and cooperators, rendering it impossible for port authorities to be physically present everywhere.

After implementing the Milestone solution, the Port of Antwerp has experienced a reduced number of accidents, improved access to high-quality proof of damage, less vandalism, reduced theft, better management of shipping traffic and the ability to protect the environment in instances of oil leaks.

In addition, the solution has enabled the port to optimize response to incidents as the situational overview from the Milestone System installation provides the harbor with and high resolution overview. This enables fast detection of unusual events, which has significantly brought down the number of incidents in the large harbor. When incidents do happen, the Port of Antwerp now has access to improved proof of damage, saving them both time and money.

Our easy access to high-quality images from the Milestone XProtect system has significantly improved our chances of winning disputes, saving us substantial time and money providing proof of damage for law enforcement and legal disputes – which used to be highly time-consuming tasks – and the quality of the evidence was not always sufficient.

The complete solution combines Milestone XProtect Corporate and Smart Client combined with third-party integrations. The majority of cameras are from Bosch Security and the management structure is built on a mixture of IBM (Lenovo), DELL and virtual servers on VMWare.

The huge area of the harbor calls for a distributed solution

Before installing Milestone open platform software, the Port of Antwerp had a standalone DVR system with no open platform support meaning only a limited number of camera brands were supported. Furthermore, that solution had no networking capabilities. Another issue was that the system only covered certain parts of the vast port area. This meant that accidents frequently occurred in locations that were not monitored by authorities, costing the Port of Antwerp dearly.

Common port accidents include oil leaks from ships during refueling. The early detection of such incidents is vital, because oil spills can prove fatal for plant and animal life. Another example is when a ship smashes against the quay or lock walls, causing damage that requires expensive repair. The ability to document such an incident and the damage proves highly important for dispute resolution.

With Milestone’s distributed solution, port authorities can now monitor the entire port area from one central location, This provides much better situational awareness enabling much faster detection of unusual events and accidents, enabling operators to initiate immediate mitigating action often enabling early response, thus limiting the impact of the incident. The solution is hyper flexible thanks to Milestone Interconnect, which enables the XProtect systems to be joined in network. This Port of Antwerp can easily expand the solution to cover more of the huge port area.

Since XProtect can support more than 6,000 cameras, encoders and sensors, the harbor authorities have total freedom to choose the best device for the task, freeing them from the limitations of the old system. Milestone’s open platform technology enables the Port of Antwerp to easily integrate the system with third party solutions, such as the port’s facility management and shipping police system, allowing all relevant authorities access to the same images when necessary, so incidents can be addressed before they potentially escalate.

The flexibility in the Milestone software enables the harbor to easily expand the system to more areas of the harbor, with the ability to choose the best cameras to suit the diverse needs in this challenging environment.

About Port of Antwerp

The Port of Antwerp in Belgium is a major international port, the gateway to Europe, ranking 15th in the 20 largest container ports in the world. It is Europe’s second-largest seaport, after Rotterdam. No other seaport is as centrally located in Europe as the port of Antwerp. This central location offers the fastest and cheapest connections with the European hinterland, as well as ecological advantages. Thanks to its location 80 kilometers inland within Europe, Antwerp offers the fastest and most sustainable connection with the European hinterland.

In 2016, the Port of Antwerp handled 14.473 sea trade ships with more than 214 million tons of cargo of which 117 million tons in containers. In addition, over 1.1 million cars were shipped via the Port of Antwerp.  The total port area covers 12,068 HA.