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Milestone Video Software Helps Icelandic Harbor Free Up To 1,000 Man-hours Every Year

The Challenge:

Faxaports, The Associated Icelandic Ports, includes Iceland’s main ports for export and import, moving thousands of containers every year to and from international destinations. Rising demands for increased safety, loss prevention and securing ships against immigrant stowaways necessitated costly manual inspections because the old analog CCTV system did not cover all of the harbor premises.    

The Advantage:

After implementing Milestone XProtect® video management software (VMS), Faxaports have managed to free up 1,000 man-hours a year, which is the equivalent to three full-time security officers. This has allowed them to allocate the extra personnel to other important tasks at the harbors. A user-friendly overview of the harbors is made possible through the XProtect® Smart Client interface, enabling fast detection of potentially dangerous situations, security incidents and intruders. Milestone Mobile® enables the guards to be more efficient in response to incidents. The ports have managed to bring down the number of accidents when loading containers to and from the ships and when handling containers at the port areas. That has helped bring down losses at the ports. The intruder detection has also made the ports better equipped to spearhead control of the increasing number of illegal immigrants using the ports as a possible gateway to USA. 

The Solution:

Milestone partner through 12 years, Security Center installed and implemented an efficient solution with XProtect® Enterprise. The XProtect video management software manages 105 Sony, Vivotek and Hikvision cameras that are installed at all Faxaports’ harbors for maximum security.

Mobile Guards

The Milestone security solution has been installed in all areas of Faxaports’ harbors. Faxaports operate the ports of Reykjavik, Akranes, Grundartangi and Borgarnes. In addition to the goal of heightening the general surveillance, the solution has been employed to help the harbors bring down the number of accidents when handling cargo in the harsh weather and to deal with the increasing problem of illegal immigrants using Iceland as a possible gateway to the United States. With the help of the Milestone video management system, Faxaports have managed to free up 1,000 man-hours each year to other important tasks. That has allowed security officers to spend their time more efficiently as they can cover more responsibilities than before.

Before installing Milestone open platform software, Faxaports had an old analog system that only covered some parts of the harbors
The Milestone security solution has been installed in all areas of Faxaports’ harbors

Before installing Milestone open platform software, Faxaports had an old analog system that only covered some parts of the harbors. This meant they would have security personnel patrolling the areas hoping to be at the right place at the right time. With Milestone, they can monitor everything from the central station, and the guards that are out inspecting the harbors can check up on other areas using Milestone Mobile. They can also use the unique Video Push feature to send video from their mobile devices to the central station. This gives the security personnel a full overview of the harbors at all times regardless of their own location.

“We are using our time much more efficiently after installing Milestone XProtect video management software. We have gained 1,000 extra man-hours every year, corresponding to three full-time security officers who can now concentrate on other tasks,” says Hallur Árnason, Port Security Officer at Faxaports.

Dangerous Weather Complicates Cargo Handling

The majority of all goods imported to the country pass through Faxaports’ harbors and the number of ships are increasing every year. With the increased traffic there is a heightened need to monitor the harbors to avoid accidents when loading and unloading the containers from the ships and handling containers at the port areas.

“We wanted to bring down the number of accidents when cargo was being moved. Now we can monitor the whole process and step in if we see something is about to go wrong,” says Hallur Árnason. With the video management system, the security personnel have a chance to intervene before an accident happens, allowing the harbor personnel to be both re-active and proactive.

With Milestone video management the security personnel have been able to cover all parts of the harbors and put extra focus on identified high-risk zones
In addition to preventing illegal immigration the video system secures the anchored ships against break-ins and vandalism

“The VMS system is a very important tool that enables us to constantly improve the harbor security. With the software we can be preventive, by stepping in before things go wrong, but it also helps us to be re-active because the system can identify what happened,” says Hallur Árnason.

The video management system can also improve the quality of the service at the harbors. Faxaports can use the video footage to analyze which situations cause problems and why these problems occur, providing important knowledge for their quality improvement programs.

The weather in Iceland is unpredictable and can be tough, causing huge problems for the harbor personnel. “Strong winds can seriously affect containers that are being loaded or unloaded from the ships which increases the risk of accidents. Moreover, the ships’ moorings can loosen in the rough weather which can damage the surrounding ships and quays. We have had dozens of incidents like that in the last couple of years,” tells Hallur Árnason.

With Milestone video management the security personnel have been able to cover all parts of the harbors and put extra focus on identified high-risk zones. With the software they can retrieve the footage from an incident for insurance matters, since there is now proof of what happened. “We have made sure that all areas of the harbors are covered which helps us answer what, when, who, why and how,” says Hallur Árnason. 

Efficient Intruder Detection Helps Keeping Illegal Immigration Down 

The number of illegal immigrants in Iceland using Faxaports’ harbors to try to get in to the United States is a rising threat, but with the extensive Milestone video, Faxaports can prevent illegal immigration.

“We had an incident where one of our security officers monitoring our harbors identified a person digging a hole to crawl under the fence that secures the area where ships with destination to USA are placed. When the police arrived they found the individual from the video plus two other individuals trying to get on board a ship heading to the United States. When we had another look at our video footage, we were also able to identify a fourth person that was hiding in the area. We would never have been able to detect them all if we hadn’t had the Milestone VMS,” tells Hallur Árnason.

“Moreover Milestone software is very user-friendly which means that it is easy for our customers to learn how to use it"

In addition to preventing illegal immigration, the video system secures the anchored ships against break-ins and vandalism. “Many of the piers are open to the public so everyone has access to the main harbor areas - vandals along with other people. That creates a need for good surveillance. With the huge number of people passing through the harbors it can seem like an impossible task to have an overview of everything at the same time, but we made it possible with Milestone,” states Hallur Árnason.

Open Platform Provides Opportunities For The Future

Faxaports Harbors currently have 105 cameras and are expecting to expand with 20 more. Milestone Partner, Security Center and Faxaports are also planning on integrating the system with analytics such as perimeter protection. “Milestone video management software is built with an open platform. That makes it easy to integrate with other systems and allows us to design a solution for our customers that is perfectly aligned with their needs. With the open platform we can scale the solution up or down according to their needs and budget,” says Ómar Rafn Halldórsson, Product Manager at Security Center.

“Moreover Milestone software is very user-friendly which means that it is easy for our customers to learn how to use it. The employees at Faxaports were especially thrilled that the XProtect® Smart Client interface comes in the Icelandic language among many others, which made it even more intuitive to use,” concludes Ómar Rafn Halldórsson.

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