Optimizing the handling of traffic in ports


Between 2013 and 2016, two of the ports in Stockholm were re­built, and SWARCO Port Control systems were installed to optimize the port area with improved traffic flows and convenient handling of trailers. “The port in Stockholm city center, Värtahamnen, is now a more efficient and environmentally friendly port with 5 quays and a modern passenger terminal”, says Anders Jonsson, manager of SWARCO’s traffic division in Sweden. Vär­tahamnen was moved further out into the water, and the city of Stockholm reclaimed large parts of the area that Ports of Stockholm previously managed. Now there is more space for the city to develop with new homes and workplaces, and the port can manage more vessels and traffic on a smaller area.

The SWARCO Port Control System (SPCS) is a modern Intelligent Transport System that pro­vides flexibility for a Roll-on-Roll-off terminal. The main concept is to create a good logistical flow while not compromising any of the strict security requirements. This is achieved by utilizing Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), barriers, length and height measure­ment, variable message signs (VMS) and auto­matic damage control of trailers. SPCS keeps track of where the vehicles and goods are at any given time. The system can also notify internal and external partners about the loca­tion.

At the port entrance, the booking of the vehicle is checked, using ANPR and scanning to measure length and height. If the reservation is correct, the barrier opens and the vehicle is guided to the correct waiting area and lane by fully graphic VMS. Which lane the vehicle is guided to is based on configurable variables in the SPCS, such as vehicle type, departure, and distribution between check-in counters. Port personnel control traffic lights for traffic guidance within the port with a hand-held de­vice, which also allows them to flexibly modify the information on the VMS.

In the waiting area, trailers are divided by a configurable set of rules depending on priorities set by the port operator to make loading and unloading easier, safer and more efficient. Those rules can, for instance, determine how and where to place different types of dangerous goods. By using SPCS the dock workers have access to and receive guidance about how to organize the trailers in the port area and onboard the ves­sels. Trailers are automatically scanned with cameras for damages before arrival to and departure from the port. This feature provides the port with a clear overview of whether any damages occurred during the stay in the port area and protects the port from any unjustified damage claims.

“Ports have an important role in international logistics and trade. Require­ments on capacity and expectations for more advanced services are continuously growing. The SWARCO Port Control System can play an important part in the ongoing digital trans­formation within harbors and provide a plat­form for new and more advanced services”, concludes Anders Jonsson.

Photo cred: Stockholms Hamnar AB