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WWT Harnesses Cutting-Edge Intel Technology to Digitally Transform Port Operations

WWT is helping accelerate and safeguard modern shipping through AI-based solutions. Learn more about how these technologies are making a difference in port operations.

April 21, 2020 4 minute read

Productivity and speed are more important than ever for today’s terminal operators. As ports seek to keep up in what has become an increasingly competitive global import/export market, operators are under constant pressure to sharpen logistics efficiency and boost security—without driving up costs. A growing number are looking to technology innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) to bridge the gap. 

The potential uses and benefits of AI in today’s ports are numerous and varied. For example, AI is already being employed in a number of terminals in the US, China and the Netherlands in the form of automated loading cranes. This makes container stacking and unloading easier to prioritize for greater efficiency and improved container availability for trucks. AI is also being employed for predictive maintenance of port equipment and to help optimize container deliveries.

WWT and Intel bring AI to port operations 

WWT recently announced AI-based solutions that are built around Intel technology and aimed at helping port operators streamline and safeguard port access while increasing throughput velocity. A trusted provider of digital strategy, innovative technology, and supply chain solutions to large public and private organizations, WWT is leveraging the power of computer vision to optimize the processing of containers.

Inspection for tampering

Upon arriving in port, the container is engaged by a gantry crane outfitted with an array of cameras. Positioned and angled to see the end doors of the container, the cameras look for two issues of great interest to port operators. It is first inspected for any evidence of tampering. Using an AI-powered computer vision application, the container’s lock is inspected to ensure it has not been damaged in transit.

The camera then addresses the tag affixed to the back of the container to confirm the serial number is accurate. The AI app accesses the cloud to compare the tag’s number with the one recorded for that container and journey in the submitted bill of lading. If the numbers do not match, the container is sorted into another area of the port and flagged for a follow-up physical inspection. Any discovery of illicit materials during that inspection triggers an immediate alert to Homeland Security Investigations.

Once requiring staff hours for each step of the process, human intervention can now be limited to reviewing the contents of a suspect container. Employing the AI application helps speed the process and minimize human error, equipping ports to move containers through busy terminals with greater effectiveness and efficiency.

Inspection for hazardous material

The Intel-powered computer vision application is also directed to look for signs of hazardous material. Typically, this would be denoted on the exterior of the container by the appropriate warning sticker. If such a marker is identified by the app, the container, just as with evidence of tampering, is separated out into a different region of the port for maximum safety.

By automating this inspection function, valuable human resources can be freed to devote their skills and attention to other critical port tasks. Such a scenario saves time and money while allowing port workers to be more effective and productive.

WWT drives frictionless entry

The benefits of AI for port operators doesn’t end at the waterline. WWT is also bringing computer vision technology to the evaluation and processing of truck port entry. The WWT solution uses a smart camera at the port’s checkpoint to quickly read the truck’s license plate. This number is then automatically checked against the database for verification.

Driver identification is similarly automated and accelerated. As the truck approaches the booth, WWT facial recognition technology quickly scans the driver, confirming the face against the image stored in the database. Results are returned in seconds and the driver is either quickly ushered into the port or queried further.

Truck port entry is traditionally a time-consuming process with long queues. The advent of AI-based computer vision at these busy port gates promises a significantly faster process with less stress and aggravation for drivers and port operators alike.

A new era for ports

At WWT, we bring a deep expertise helping industries modernize their IT infrastructure to meet the demands of a global economy dependent on a worldwide production network and supply chain. Working with Intel and cutting-edge Intel technology, we are now helping ports reduce worker hours spent on redundant, labor-intensive work and replacing that with processes that are much more efficient, more reliable and more secure.

Learn more about our work in data analytics by following along with our topic area, or contact us directly to begin a conversation around your business needs.

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