Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Port Security Will Protect Freight, Customers, Staff and Assets

Integrated CCTV System Introduced Across Nine Separate Sites
Shipping News Feature
SOUTH AFRICA – In a recent piece we told how the increased threat from terrorists had placed certain mandatory responsibilities on ports across the world to ensure their security measures reached a standard which could be expected to deter criminal action. The article lamented the fact that many were unwilling to pay for the improvements necessary but it seems the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) cannot be included in that group having just funded a state-of-the-art port security system valued at more than $53 million to safeguard its customers, freight and port users, as well as Transnet’s own assets, staff and contractors.

The CCTV system will be integrated between all port sites and the head office to give a bird’s eye view of the port security environment. It comprises 2100 high definition cameras across the various sites, more than double the previous 864, as well as long range cameras to monitor all port channel entrances and outer anchorages.

The newly renovated control room located at the Port of Durban was the first to go live on 12 February. It boasts state-of-the-art video walls for added visibility across the port whilst vehicle security within the port perimeters will also be enhanced through license plate recognition. The system will also facilitate increased night visibility through thermal imaging that can detect heat emitted by objects or bodies, especially in low visibility areas and through smoke, fog and haze.

Alongside the possible threat from terrorism some of the most common security incidents in South African ports can include stowaways, theft of cargo and damage or theft of assets owned by Transnet and other port users and the new system enhances the position of the South African facilities as ‘smart ports’, adding to the technology added in 2015 with the adoption of a web-based Integrated Port Management System (IPMS). Richard Vallihu, Chief Executive at TNPA, said:

“The National Ports Act 12 of 2005 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code of 2004 dictate that we as a port authority implement measures to assist in detecting security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents that may affect ships or port facilities used in international trade.”