Logistics Feature Article: Winning the waiting game - How surveillance can bring value to logistics beyond the security benefits it’s known for
July 13, 2018
Waiting in for something to be delivered is a frustration in the modern age of internet shopping! With busy lives and more people within a household working, this is now something that affects a lot of people. The advent of smart logistics systems has meant there are some delivery service providers that can offer customers an element of control through the ability to track the location of their package. The trend has now gone further, with customer’s expectations being that this should actually be the norm. A recent survey carried out by PwC* showed that 88% of consumers are willing to pay more for same-day or faster delivery. These factors combine to make the challenging and fast-moving environment delivery companies face today. But help can come from a source that perhaps one wouldn’t expect – the world’s leading security surveillance provider Hikvision.
Securing the supply chain
Keeping an eye on the supply chain, the commercial goods within it and the people who work in it is a core capability of surveillance. Safeguarding the flow of commercial goods from the point of origin to the point of consumption — over land, sea, and air — poses some of the greatest challenges for security teams. But Hikvision comes to the rescue - DarkFighter PTZ cameras and vandal-resistant bullet cameras, for instance, can monitor a perimeter. They give excellent image quality, even in the darkest of nights, offer smart detection and auto tracking capabilities.
Dock areas and warehouses are monitored using PanoVu, fisheye and low light cameras – so all the dark corners and all areas can be seen with ease, and in sharp detail. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras can be used at access points to ensure only the correct people enter into dock and parking areas. On-board surveillance attached to trucks can help drivers to ‘dock’ successfully, eliminating blind spots. It’s important to properly monitor the trucks as they enter and leave a facility to ensure everything goes smoothly on pickups and that nothing is damaged.
This is all brought together using a comprehensive Control Centre, which gives security managers the ability to manage all of the surveillance devices from one place. Features like flexible storage, redundancy design, recovery and backup provide peace of mind. There are also smart search and alarm verification and handling functions to help to maximise the value of the data that streams into the centre.
But technology can also offer much more. For example, GPS tracking systems can pinpoint the location of trucks as they move around. Key data including GPS and alarm information is instantly uploaded to the central management platform (for example Hikvision’s latest HikCentral video management system) for control and management. Communication between the platform and devices is mainly based on 3G/4G wireless networks, so data can be transferred wherever the vehicle is driving. An intelligent algorithm also adjusts the live stream bitrate automatically according to network conditions.
Even in the warehouses themselves technology is advancing. Robots can be used for sorting packages, for example. Hikvision developed the world’s first robot sorting application that can handle an order fulfillment and distribution demand of 20,000 orders per hour. The robots work at up to 3 metres per second, can deliver parcels up to 5kg and have an accuracy rate of 99%, thanks to intelligent code reading equipment.
A flexible modular system design means the system is easy to operate and maintain, helping to make it quick to deploy when the site is expanded, for example. This flexibility and high utilisation of facilities and equipment effectively reduces labour costs by 50% -80%.
These sorting robots won a Red Dot Design 2018 award, standing out from the submissions from 59 countries. They were recognised for their concise and versatile design, which adopts the concept of ‘handling complexity by simplicity’.
Cameras also play a part here, with a range of Hikvision products specially designed to help facilitate automated processes in factories and warehouses. One function of the cameras the ability to read a variety of barcodes and other coding (including two-dimension codes) to be able to identify components, or packages, for example. The Code Reading Camera can read codes that are static as well as those that are moving, with a decoding time of around 100ms. It can also save a picture of an entire parcel, and an express sheet, for track and trace application.
With all this technology working together, it will be a lot easier for companies to streamline processes and have a good view over where everything is in their systems. One example is the use of the technology in Hikvision’s Tonglu facility to provide strong warehouse and logistics support for the base. This solution drastically reduces labour intensity and increases production efficiency and quality. In addition, the warehouse layout is optimised, saving approximately 58% in manpower and boosting efficiency by 84%.
Securing the supply chain is only the beginning. Smart logistics operators look at the whole chain and use technology like robots, GPS and bar code reading cameras to get a handle on their processes, and deliveries. By extension, this means that customers can get hold of their package’s time of arrival. This, in turn helps them to manage the single most valuable resource in the modern age – their own time.
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*¬¬_PwC Consumer Insights Survey 2018