control room team can rapidly investigate this scenario, alert
local authorities to evacuate residents in range or in the path of
projected pollution, while simultaneously sending emergency
service personnel to attend to the staff member already
overcome by the fumes. All these activities and subsequent
actions can then be logged against the incident for evidence
review or training purposes.
In addition, operating an integrated system has the added
benefit of proving compliance to ISO 28000:2007, the
specification for security management systems for the supply
chain, as well as ISO 20858:2007 for maritime port facility
security assessments and security plan development.
Imagine another scenario. Thermal imaging cameras begin to
show heat in one of the coal storage sheds, which is a restricted
area. This triggers a safety alert advising control centre
personnel to check temperature readings and initiate a
cooling/fire-prevention workflow process.
But imagine the same scenario occurs in conjunction with an
access card alert from a member of staff who is not due on shift
for another three hours. Using the system’s in-built analytics
with live-streamed video, the control centre team can track and
quickly locate and identify the person using the access card,
while deploying and guiding a security team to intercept them.
Furthermore, this system enables control staff to collaborate
and monitor the situation, while being automatically guided
through appropriate incident scenarios and workflows. An
integrated system offers complete situational awareness and a
quick resolution to a threat before it can escalate further;
delivering a level of consistency vital to overall port security.
Although threat of theft or attack is a key factor affecting
surveillance trends in the global shipping and marine market, the
other important consideration is the economy. Budgets are
tight, cargoes are precious and resources are limited. What is
becoming a standard practice, therefore, is the use of
surveillance as a way to improve operational efficiencies.
With the integration capabilities of modern surveillance
systems, port management companies can, for example, reduce
staff numbers needed for high-risk activities. As well as reducing
the risk to staff, this can be a beneficial scenario for operations
in areas such as complex machinery zones or storage areas for
potentially flammable or self-igniting goods such as oil seed or
The other major trend, in terms of operational efficiencies, is
for surveillance monitoring and control technology to integrate
with systems critical to goods maintenance.
Temperature fluctuations, excessive humidity and light levels
can all have a detrimental effect on goods. Linking sensory data
programmed to detect such changes with real-time video
footage, personnel can immediately see any factors that may
need addressing. These could include temperature increases,
fire, water ingress, too many personnel in one area, or
doorways/hatches that may be open when they should be
In this way, intelligently integrated surveillance monitoring and
control systems deliver valuable insight and can become integral
to an overall assessment system.
Data gathered from surveillance sub-systems, via an open
architecture integrated surveillance solution, can provide
complete situational awareness for all aspects of port operation.
In-built analytics enable detailed insight into procedures and
practices, as well as programmed to ‘look for’ patterns of
inefficiencies. Data collection and in-system analysis enables
management teams to work towards improvement, efficiency
and best practice.
This has a knock-on benefit for port management companies;
as well as helping to keep goods in optimal condition, it also
provides the audit trail to provide confirming evidence. As part
of their ‘trade journey’, goods may be stored or transported by
various different methods and therefore, could be damaged at
multiple stages. Being able to demonstrate that items were
received, maintained and delivered in optimal condition by
providing the data captured is a valuable resource. This can
mitigate against questions or allegations about goods
maintenance for example as part of an insurance investigation.
With dry bulk shipping costs escalating and daily fees
dropping, the shipping and marine sector needs to improve the
processes for transporting, unloading and storage to ensure
maximum product quality is retained. The additional return on
investment offered by integrated security systems are two-fold,
providing the means to develop a highly dynamic process,
coupled with data analysis that has multiple applications —
ensuring costs are kept to the minimum for the maximum
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
As the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
nears resolution and with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
already in place, multinationals are ready and waiting to seize the
opportunity to transport large amounts of cargo from East to
West and vice versa.
To enable the safe transport of ever increasing amounts of
trade, integrated surveillance and smart technology is fast-
becoming the go-to solution to ensure the safe, efficient transfer
of goods and materials.
For example, as ships become more connected to the
mainland, data coming in from sea can be used to plan the most
efficient unloading and transport of dry cargo from sea to end
delivery point. This can include ensuring storage bays are empty
to receive goods, transportation is scheduled and routes are
clear, and GPS data can be captured throughout the land based
journey to provide real-time delivery timeframes.
As global satellite communications become more advanced,
the link between ships and shore will also become increasingly
blurred, as data will be able to pass more freely from one to the
other. In addition to transport planning, this can be used to
monitor the state, and even value, of the cargo on board –
meaning a decision about storage or transportation can be taken
before the vessel has even entered the port. Real-time cargo
tracking of this nature does currently exist but it is in its infancy.
In addition, in order to deliver the UN’s ‘Safer Cities’
objectives, ports must interface with local municipal and
emergency services and be included in any critical infrastructure
protection. Here too we will certainly see information
integration — made possible through surveillance command and
control — increasingly move into the spotlight.
What is very clear, whether looking at the here and now or
to the future, is that surveillance is quickly moving beyond being
an isolated component of port security. Data unification is
absolutely critical for protecting assets that are so important to
the global economy — it’s an ambition that has to become a
reality for the port operators. Intelligently integrated
surveillance can make that happen.