Vehicle Delivery Services (VDS), a logistics service provider to the sub-Saharan automotive industry, operates 200 specialised vehicle-carriers, transporting commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles from its South African-based storage facility to all major cities in southern Africa.
The high value of the vehicles from manufacturers such as MBSA and Volvo, and the significant operational risk involved in moving these vehicles within the huge bonded storage yards requires suitable management strategies. An effective monitoring solution is imperative for these premises.
Servicing the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, VDS manages vehicle depots throughout South Africa and utilise huge bonded storage yards, accommodating between 250 and 3500 vehicles per site. With a massive 90% market share in cross-border deliveries and a 30% share in the local vehicle transportation market, VDS’s varied customer base includes local vehicle manufacturers and importers as well as dealerships and individuals. Security is of utmost importance, cutting-edge technology and proven systems are crucial.
The Surveillance Factory, a company specialising in the design, implementation and management of video-surveillance solutions, was appointed by VDS as its integration partner. VDS resolved to deploy a video surveillance system in its depots to monitor and record activity. The crucial objective of the installation of network cameras is twofold: to cover the required area in terms of monitoring and also to provide a visual deterrent.
Axis Communications was chosen as the camera vendor because of its diverse range of products and its superior network cameras. Network cameras, as opposed to conventional analogue systems allow the user to make use of wireless-IP-networking to transmit video images between sites separated by public roads.
VDS storage facilities are now monitored using video-over-IP network cameras with recorded footage that can be used to identify vehicles and criminals, or for quick reaction to suspicious activities taking place on the premises. The cameras also act as a deterrent as they are clearly visible and serve as a warning that the area is being monitored.
Various Axis network cameras were selected to secure the yards, administrative offices, internal areas, key rooms and the entrance and exit gates. Axis 211M Network Cameras were placed at critical areas such as entrance and exit gates, to offer high quality footage of vehicles, registration numbers and the physical characteristics of the drivers. Featuring a 1,3 megapixel sensor, these cameras ensure that important zones are monitored in great detail.
The actual storage yards are secured by Axis 211 Network Cameras, designed for professional indoor and outdoor surveillance and remote monitoring. The 211 is fitted with a varifocal DC-iris lens ideal for the outdoor light conditions of these vehicle storage facilities. The tamper-resistant casing, compact design, remote focus function and HDTV quality made the Axis P3344 Fixed Dome Network Camera a perfect fit for the monitoring of the key rooms.
An IP camera solution made the most sense to VDS as the technology is easily upgradable and is the best long-term financial investment. The Axis network cameras are supported by the Milestone Enterprise video surveillance platform, which VDS selected as the system back-end.
The Surveillance Factory’s Marnix de Lorm says, “We leveraged VDS’s IP infrastructure, designing a video-over-IP surveillance system that integrated effortlessly with both the existing local and wide area networks.”
According to VDS, the built in support for Power-over-Ethernet is a significant feature of Axis network cameras. The Axis cameras can be installed using single UTP cables for both power delivery and data transfer, thereby drastically reducing the installation costs and enabling the consolidation of the power source to a central location.
In conjunction with The Surveillance Factory, VDS also implemented a fully functional control room at its main office. Here it has the capability to monitor all of the surveillance footage live from a centralised operation, in addition, it has the capacity to review any archived material from any camera on a national basis.
VDS now has a secure depot environment and the expansion of its surveillance capabilities, via the deployment of additional cameras within the existing IP network, is a simple and effortless process.
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