Harbour manages shipping security with AI-based video solution

The Hague, The Netherlands

Image courtesy of Bosch

At Scheveningen Harbor in the coastal city of The Hague in the Netherlands, an AI-based video security system from Bosch Building Technologies is now ensuring that every single ship or boat entering or leaving the harbor is logged.

The customised solution developed by Bosch together with its partner Braincreators automatically registers and classifies shipping traffic. Until now, employees at the port control centre had to keep an eye on shipping traffic around the clock from the window of the control centre and manually record the 80 or so vessels that pass through the port every day. The reason for the investment in the intelligent security solution was the fear that criminals would seek alternative routes via smaller ports such as Scheveningen, now that large Dutch or Belgian ports such as Rotterdam and Antwerp have been more secure against smuggled goods for some time. This was reason enough for the city council of The Hague to quickly find a tailor-made solution for the port of Scheveningen.

Special conditions require individual solutions

Most boats and ships entering the port of Scheveningen are not required to register and, unlike purely commercial ports such as Rotterdam, the port cannot simply be closed off. In addition to cargo ships, there are also fishing boats and private sailing yachts at anchor, with small dinghies and rowing boats cruising between them. Keeping track of the movement of goods in particular is therefore a challenging task in Scheveningen, where the video security system with intelligent video analysis installed by Bosch provides welcome support.

"The requirements for this project were very specific because the shipping traffic not only had to be filmed, but also registered and classified. The solution also had to provide information about the speed of travel," says Niels van Doorn, Senior Manager Solutions & Portfolio at Bosch Building Technologies in the Netherlands. "Standard software can't do that. Together with our partner, we have therefore developed an AI that can identify and classify ships of all kinds – from passenger ships and freighters to sailing yachts and inflatable boats." This data aids in identifying suspicious shipping movements.

Speedy installation – efficient data on hand 

Development, planning and implementation only took around 12 months. Two intelligent video cameras at the mouth of the harbour now record the traffic. The specially developed AI classifies the ship types and registers them in a file. Due to the difficult lighting conditions in the port, the Flexidome IP Starlight 8000i cameras from Bosch were chosen. They deliver detailed images even in challenging weather and lighting conditions and enable the staff in the control centre to see every detail, even in very bright or dark image sections. Today, all boat identifiers are recorded, documented, stored and automatically provided with additional information on date and time, direction of travel and speed around the clock using AI. The streams from the cameras are fed directly into a video management system. Ships that are not seen in real time by the personnel on duty appear as still images on the screen. By analysing all the data, peak times, ship types, trends and deviations from the norm are determined.

"The dashboard gives staff an overview of all activities in the port. The software protects the privacy of the people recorded by making their faces unrecognisable. The new video documentation now provides solid evidence and helps to identify suspicious and unusual situations more quickly and effectively," says Ferry Ditewig, Business Development Manager at Bosch Building Technologies in the Netherlands.

The video solution is also well equipped for future challenges and can be flexibly expanded as required: for example, additional information from external sources could be integrated, such as meteorological data, tides or the automatic identification system (AIS) for exchanging ship data.


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