Technology is constantly changing the way we do business, improving efficiencies by automating processes to eliminate the possibility of human mistake and transforming industries by empowering organisations with the tools they need to succeed in a digital world.
The transport industry is no different in this respect, writes Laurence Smith, executive at Graphic Images Technologies.
With advancements in mobile surveillance and vehicle security technology, it has become possible to reduce the traditional risks involved in the transport industry: right from the warehouse and out on the road until the cargo has reached its final destination.
More than just securing valuable cargo, by implementing a visual surveillance system to oversee the movement of goods in and out of the warehouse and in-transit, it becomes possible to realise additional operational benefits of modifying driver and warehouse worker behaviour to streamline supply chain processes. By using technology to bring visibility into every aspect of the logistics chain, each component is managed more effectively.
Bringing visibility into the warehouse
In warehousing and freight transport, the major areas of concern are theft, loss and mishandled goods, with the transport of goods being the weakest point in the logistics chain.
Tightening security inside the warehouse is possible with the use of a surveillance system that runs on Ultra-High Definition (UHD or 4K) IP cameras. These offer better resolution and much more detail and because of this improvement in resolution, fewer cameras are required to monitor a larger area. This means fewer cameras to manage, fewer network points and less of a strain on the network’s bandwidth and storage capabilities.
Thanks to adaptive streaming, these cameras are capable of recording video at 4K resolution with playback at a resolution that meets the viewers’ requirements. It is also now possible to use 4K cameras for visual monitoring and verification of merchandise, which eliminates the opportunity for human error (and even intentional error).
For example, in a warehouse where goods are picked from the shelves and placed in a cage ready for transport collection, by using a 4K camera, a control room operator can see enough high level detail to enable them to count and visually ascertain whether the correct number of crates or boxes were loaded from the warehouse. Furthermore, a surveillance system inside the warehouse helps to modify worker behaviour and keep them honest by letting them know that someone is watching them, which has the operational benefit of effectively eliminating inexplicable warehouse shrinkage.
Bringing visibility into the truck
By using HD cameras and the associated mobile video recorder management applications, it is possible to monitor the merchandise in the truck using live feeds all the way from the warehouse until it reaches its end destination, to reduce the risks of theft and mishandling. With cameras inside the driver cabin as well as the cargo hold, it is possible for an external control room operator to monitor what is going on inside the truck, as well as provide visual verification that the correct goods were loaded into and off the truck.
Taking visibility on the road
Such a mobile video recording and transmission system also ensures that the load is secure during its journey as an alarm is sent to the control centre with video verification if the load bay door is opened. The driver’s behaviour can also be monitored live and it’s possible to visually verify whether he is making unauthorised stops. This offers a greater level of control by being able to monitor driver behaviour in real-time and react accordingly, opposed to simple post-event video recording.
Moreover, such visual monitoring systems are capable of integration with intelligent systems like Mobileye, an advanced driver assistance solution aimed at avoiding collisions by using an artificial vision sensor to view the road ahead and warn drivers of any potential hazards with real-time alerts.
By linking the live video surveillance system to a solution like this, it becomes possible to get video footage linked to Mobileye events with live pop-up alerts in the control room when an event takes place. Moreover, integrating vehicle security and tracking with driver behaviour management and environmental monitoring into a consolidated system, it becomes possible to have total visibility and control over the driver and the freight. With the intelligent visibility that comes from fleet management systems like Mobileye, driver behaviour will automatically be modified as drivers have no choice to comply with operational expectations.
Delivering with visibility
Once the goods have reached their destination, footage from the mobile DVR’s cameras can be used to conduct an external visual inspection to ensure load integrity by ascertaining whether the doors are still sealed. Again, 4K cameras can be used to perform a visual count to ensure that what is delivered matches what was loaded onto the truck. By securing the goods in transport and during storage in a simple, visual way, the freight transport industry will be able to see a direct positive impact on security in the elimination of theft, loss and damage of their valuable goods.
By bringing intelligent driver monitoring solutions into the equation it becomes possible to streamline and improve driver behaviour and efficiency, which helps to tighten the efficacy of the supply chain from end to end.