Home Case Study AI-based video solution monitors shipping traffic

AI-based video solution monitors shipping traffic

by Geny Caloisi
An AI-based video security system from Bosch Building Technologies is now logging every ship and boat entering or leaving Scheveningen Harbour in The Hague in the Netherlands. Bosch and BrainCreators developed a customised solution to register and classify shipping traffic automatically. 

Port control centre employees had to manually record the 80 or so vessels that pass through the port every day from the window of the control centre. A key reason for investing in the intelligent security solution was the fear criminals would seek alternative routes through smaller ports like Scheveningen, since large Dutch and Belgian ports like Rotterdam and Antwerp have been more secure against smuggled goods for some time now. This was reason enough for the city council of The Hague to find a tailor-made solution for Scheveningen’s port quickly. 

Special conditions require individual solutions

Most boats and ships entering the port of Scheveningen are not required to register and, unlike purely commercial ports such as Rotterdam, the port cannot simply be closed off. In addition to cargo ships, there are also fishing boats and private sailing yachts at anchor, with small dinghies and rowing boats cruising between them. Keeping track of the movement of goods in particular is, therefore, a challenging task in Scheveningen, where the video security system with intelligent video analysis installed by Bosch provides welcome support.

“The requirements for this project were very specific because the shipping traffic not only had to be filmed, but also registered and classified. The solution also had to provide information about the speed of travel,” says Niels van Doorn, Senior Manager Solutions & Portfolio at Bosch Building Technologies in the Netherlands. “Standard software can’t do that. Together with our partner, we have therefore developed an AI that can identify and classify ships of all kinds – from passenger ships and freighters to sailing yachts and inflatable boats.” This data aids in identifying suspicious shipping movements. 

Development, planning and implementation only took around 12 months. Two intelligent video cameras at the mouth of the harbour now record the traffic. The specially developed AI classifies the ship types and registers them in a file. Due to the difficult lighting conditions in the port, the Flexidome IP starlight 8000i cameras from Bosch were chosen. They deliver detailed images even in challenging weather and lighting conditions and enable the staff in the control centre to see every detail, even in very bright or dark image sections. 

Today, all boat identifiers are recorded, documented, stored and automatically provided with additional information on date and time, direction of travel and speed around the clock using AI. The streams from the cameras are fed directly into a video management system. Ships that are not seen in real-time by the personnel on duty appear as still images on the screen. By analysing all the data, peak times, ship types, trends and deviations from the norm are determined. 

“The dashboard gives staff an overview of all activities in the port. The software protects the privacy of the people recorded by making their faces unrecognisable. The new video documentation now provides solid evidence and helps to identify suspicious and unusual situations more quickly and effectively,” says Ferry Ditewig, Business Development Manager at Bosch Building Technologies in the Netherlands.


The video solution is also well equipped for future challenges and can be flexibly expanded as required: for example, additional information from external sources could be integrated, such as meteorological data, tides or the automatic identification system (AIS) for exchanging ship data.


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