Rivergate brings digitalisation to duisport

duisport, the world’s largest inland waterway port complex, is taking the next step on the way to what it sees as the digital port of the future.

Rivergate brings digitalisation to duisport

While the use of optical character recognition (OCR) gates has already been implemented on the rail and roadsides in Port of Duisburg, so far there has been no solution on the waterside.

Together with industrial image processing firm Vitronic, duisport developed ‘Rivergate’ based on high-resolution 12k cameras in just 15 months and successfully tested it on two cranes. This created a sustainable solution for digitally recording the ID of each container and comparing it with the loading list in just a few seconds, with a recognition rate of almost 100 percent when loading and unloading an inland vessel.

In combination with the crane management system (CMS) provided by Polo Know-How, it is now possible to avoid incorrect loading, since in cases of so-called ‘mis-picking’ the spreader can no longer be unlocked. At the same time, the system is able to detect the integrity of the Customs seal and any damage to the container. duisport says this will optimise existing processes in day-to-day operations and advance the digitalisation of the inland port.

Rivergate will initially be used on a crane at the Duisburg Trimodal Terminal (D3T) at logport I in Duisburg-Rheinhausen and on a crane at the GWW terminal at logport II in Duisburg-Hochfeld.

A milestone in the digitalisation of Duisburg port

The installation of the specially developed camera systems enables efficient and transparent condition documentation and recording in real time – even at night and in poor weather conditions.

As the container passes the crane bridge, the system records the condition of the loading unit in high-resolution images. Several specially developed algorithms work in the background, making the data immediately available to the CMS and the terminal operation system (TOS). In this way, the container number can be compared with the loading list to prevent incorrect loading.

Rivergate not only enables important process optimisation, but is also another milestone in the digitalisation of Duisburg port. This is a great benefit for duisport and the entire customer and partner network of the central logistics hub.

“When unloading containers, crane operators rarely have the chance to check their condition,” says Prof Thomas Schlipköther, duisport board member for technology and operations, who has been committed to the digitalisation of the port’s terminals for many years and has initiated numerous projects to this end.

“Once set down, the loading unit (would be recorded) as flawless, even if it was already damaged. Thanks to Rivergate, we can now conclusively prove the condition of the containers and fully document their whereabouts in the terminal.”

“With the Rivergate solution, Vitronic is opening up a new business field. We already use the technology in other application areas, such as toll collection or the identification of parcels. We are now using this expertise to advance digitalisation in freight transport as well,” commented Daniel Scholz-Stein, CEO of Vitronic.