CCTV/IP solutions for logistics

July 2010 Surveillance

IP surveillance can assist in improving the performance of logistics companies.

Shipping goods quickly from Munich to Singapore can be a complicated affair. Not only do international logistics companies have to protect expensive and fragile goods from theft and damage in transit but they also have to be able to ensure that human errors, such as loading errors, are fully documented. The reason being that resolving disputed damage claims is time-consuming and expensive. But with Dallmeier Logistics Solutions problems like that are now a thing of the past.

In logistics warehouses, a proportion of the goods held and dispatched are high value items. A variety of different parcel delivery companies and carriers collect the goods and deliver them to dealers or end-users. Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely eliminate cases of damaged goods, loading errors or other kinds of loss. And the disputes which do arise and are not resolved, where it could not be established who caused what damage, are laid at the logistics provider’s door since he is responsible for any unresolved claims.

Keeping a close eye on the goods

Because of this, more transport companies are using modern CCTV/IP systems to prevent problems and to document the path taken by the goods up to the hand-over to the carrier. This enables any damage which is incurred on the way to be investigated and claims resolved quickly and economically.

To ensure smooth comprehensive documentation all goods are electronically registered as they enter the warehouse, completely traced during their way through the logistics centre and they are scanned again when they are handed over to the parcel company or carrier, when the liability for the goods is transferred to the onward transport provider.

Besides this data capture, each scanning action is also recorded by a high resolution colour camera. The scan data are recorded together with the pictures in the digital recording system so that the pictures and package data can later be amalgamated. The barcode for each package can then be used to identify and trace the item through the warehouse. This allows not only individual packages but also whole pallet loads of assembled packages to be monitored as they progress through the warehouse.

Digital recording systems

Dallmeier DVRs are particularly suitable recording systems for this environment, as they are suited for complex CCTV/IP monitoring installations where several recording systems are run in the network and linked to external data sources. The integrated motion detection allows the recorder to only record if it registers movement. If an alarm is triggered then the picture data are stored separately. They can be stored not only in the recorder but also in external RAID systems. Large recording capacities are crucial since many customers only report the non-arrival of a package weeks later and the logics operator has to be able to easily track the route taken.

Finding lost items

When a loss (theft, damage, dispatch error) is reported, Dallmeier’s review software PView comes into play. The programme establishes how and when the loss occurred from the package data. The search can be made according to a variety of criteria, package number, delivery number, time, etc. If the handling of a particular package is being investigated then clicking on a list brings up the desired camera picture together with a display of the pre-history on a split screen. This allows losses to be quickly and simply traced and verified without a tedious paper trail.

The Dallmeier logistics solution pays for itself very quickly as the logistics provider Tech Data confirms, “We very soon established that the number of claims had fallen by 40%. On top of that the speedy resolution of 80% of contentious incidents has saved us both time and money.”

For more information contact Dallmeier electronic Southern Africa, +27 (0)11 979 4540, [email protected],

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