Durban Harbour

Durban Harbour
Durban, South Africa

C3 Shared Services (Pty) Ltd and a local SA engineering firm assisted in designing the security solution at Durban's Pier One terminal. The upgrade of the security at Durban's port was imperative in order for the port to comply with the International safety regulation code.

The port of Durban handles the greatest volume of sea-going traffic of any port in southern Africa. Durban's Port operates on a common user basis and consists of five business units managed by SA Port Operations (SAPO) - Durban Container Terminal (Africa's busiest), Pier 1 Container Terminal, Multi Purpose Terminal (also known as the City Terminal), Durban Car Terminal (three berths), and Maydon Wharf Terminal.

The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies. Having come into force in 2004, it prescribes responsibilities to governments, shipping companies, shipboard personnel, and port/facility personnel to "detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade". The IMO states that "The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States" (IMO).

Seaports face a daunting challenge - to protect our ports' seaside and landside areas from unauthorized intrusions and potential terrorist activities. For freight seaports, this means monitoring containers, maintaining fence protection systems, ensuring cargo remains safe and sanitized, and controlling incoming rail and truck traffic. These challenges had to be overcome in order for the Port to comply with the International Safety Regulations code. The security threats were identified as the following:

    Cargo theft
    Illegal or undocumented immigrants and stowaways
    Vehicle theft
    Drug smuggling
    Trade fraud (such as under-valuations and sale of counterfeit goods)
    Firearms smuggling


Given that seaports cover expansive areas, live security personnel are unable to monitor all locations at all times. But "intelligent video analytics" can. The wide-area surveillance and perimeter protection solution at Durban Port is comprised of an 'intelligent' command and control system that transforms a network of cameras into intelligent object detection, tracking and recording sensors. Through advanced video scene analysis and an algorithm-based detection and tracking system, the intelligent video analytics system identifies when designated security parameters have been violated, notifies security personnel with an alarm, tracks and records the intrusion and provides operators with the information they need to orchestrate an appropriate emergency response. Ideal for seaport security, intelligent video analytics technology can be integrated to monitor seaside perimeters, enforce proper passenger and baggage screening protocols, supervise the unloading of freight containers, and guard fences on a port's landside perimeter.

The powerful detection and tracking capabilities of intelligent video address the specific security challenges faced by seaports. At Durban's Port over 120 cameras were placed on the perimeter with the addition of 13 PTZ cameras. Any breach in the perimeter or suspicious behaviour detected by the cameras sets off an alarm in the control centre via the command centre software enabling the security personnel can react accordingly.