Consorzio Centro TIR Como Docks is a customs and logistics area that extends 150,000 m² near the capital of Lake Como in Italy. Dubbed as the "Gate of Europe" by transport operators for its strategic location, it can accommodate up to 250 heavy vehicles at the same time, with a monthly transit estimated between 12,000 and 18,000 vehicles. "We are the last outpost before Switzerland for hauliers who have to carry out customs clearance operations directed towards Northern Europe," says Fabio Bertolutti, Head of Como Docks.
As one of the most important points between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, the Como area faces massive logistics traffic. Como Docks welcomes approximately 1,000 heavy vehicles daily, which prompts for an efficient management system. However, with their earlier system, this was not the case.
"Previously, each driver would receive a paper ticket at the entrance. They need to have the freight forwarder validate it in order to deduct an amount from the total parking time," explains Mr. Bertolutti. "We needed to streamline the management of incoming trucks and reduce the personnel at the gates."
Dahua Technology Italy, alongside its partner Techno Impianti, has implemented an automated ad hoc system that deploys various technologies. Initiated in 2019, the initial idea of the project was to install cameras with license plate recognition to automate the entrances and exits while registering the vehicles. “In midstream, it proved to be a stimulating challenge that allowed our project division to combine multiple technologies with a significant share of customization," says Roberto Frigerio, Sales Manager at Dahua.
ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras were installed at the gates to detect the license plate and the Telepass (if any) of the vehicles. Employee vehicles are registered in the allowlist, exempting them from payment. After confirming these data, the barrier will open.
“When a truck completes the paperwork in the customs office, it receives a two-hour discount on the parking space through our software PMS (Parking Management System),” explains Luca Monza, Project Solution Engineer at Dahua. “At the exit, the final count takes place by comparing the license plate reading with the Telepass (payment can also be made by card or cash). The PMS was already created with a client device dedicated to payments. We have made several customizations required by the customer; from integration with Telepass to reporting," he added.
Moreover, in the sensitive areas of the complex, such as the hangars and warehouses of freight forwarders, 50 bullet and speed dome cameras equipped with IVS video analysis and perimeter protection were deployed. Access control terminals were also installed to allow entry even at night using password or card. The modular IP video intercom allows people to contact the on-duty personnel, who can answer from the internal monitor or the DMSS mobile app. The devices transmit data via a double fiber-optic connection and wireless radio links (back-up) to the control room, where they are managed by the DSS Express software platform and two redundant NVRs.
The Dahua intelligent solution developed and implemented in cooperation with Techno Impianti has successfully enhanced the operation efficiency of Como Docks. The number of personnel in the gates were significantly reduced, allowing even a single staff to remotely control two entrances and three exits simultaneously. An extension of the project is already in the works, which includes outdoor informative LED walls. Overall, the implemented system has gained warm recognition and positive feedback from both the customer and our partner.
“Dahua had assured us that the cameras would read 96% of the license plates but I can say that the statistics are even better (99%), despite the very different fonts of license plates from all over Europe. What made the difference was the openness of the Dahua system and the absolute availability in terms of customization," Mr. Bertolutti explained.
“Together with Dahua, we were able to define and optimize solutions to meet customer requirements. I can say once again that we have chosen the right partner: Dahua not only provides high quality products but also the correct assistance at every stage, and we rely on them since 2012," says Giacomo Casartelli, owner of Techno Impianti.
"This system involves multiple sides of the Dahua proposal: license plate recognition, access control, video surveillance, video intercom, transmission and automation. Here at Como Docks, Dahua’s approach to the market has really materialized, offering integrated security and smart business solutions tailored to create real value for the customer," Mr. Frigerio added.