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The Port of Pecém is one of two large ports in the state of Ceará, in northeast Brazil. Its position on the Atlantic coast made it the ideal location for Brazil’s first Export Processing Zone, which opened in 2012 and is now protected by a comprehensive security solution that includes hundreds of Sarix™ IX Series and Spectra™ IV IP cameras from Pelco™ by Schneider Electric™.

The Export Processing Zone of Pecém (ZPE Pecém) is a free-trade area where companies focused on the production of goods to be exported can benefit from government incentives. The area sees a tremendous amount of vehicle and cargo traffic, which must be inspected at the customs clearance area before it is allowed entry. With so much cargo coming in and out, there were both processing and security challenges. Additionally, theft had become a major concern, since no comprehensive security system was in place.

The Solution
The management division of the Export Processing Zone of Pecém SA (ZPE Ceará) sought a solution that would reduce processing times and make it easy to track trucks in and out of checkpoints, as well as provide a bird’s eye view of all secure areas.

ZPE Ceará worked with Intelligent Security Systems (ISS), a leading video management and video-analytic software company with a history of success with seaports and customs operations. ISS provided ZPE Ceará with a comprehensive video-management and video-analytic system that meets the security requirements of the Brazilian government.

Speed Sistemas of Brazil handled the integration of the video-management solution and Pelco cameras with several third-party systems, including Brazil Customs management system, access control, Southwest Microwave perimeter control, fire, audio, the Public Safety Department system, and I/O Advantech. The deployment involved six servers (fully redundant and virtualized), 200 Pelco IP cameras, 264 third-party cameras, Web access, 34 channels of license plate recognition (LPR), 36 channels of container recognition (18 side/18 top), and LPR and container cameras with infrared illuminators. All information is sent to the Port Authority management system and is readily available to Brazilian Customs authorities.

The Results
ZPE Ceará realized improved efficiency and reduced processing times with its comprehensive video surveillance solution. Video analytics and weight scale integration have helped reduce the time it takes for a truck to pass through a checkpoint from 7.4 minutes to three minutes.

“We are already seeing a seismic improvement in both processing times and overall security,” said Marcelo Costa Caldas, technical director of ZPE Ceará. “We have license plate and container recognition on every gate. This allows us to reduce the staff needed at the gates, minimize mistakes, and increase the throughput of our operations.” LPR and container-recognition analytics allow Caldas and his team to know what trucks are coming in and when, all the identifying information about their cargo, who the driver is, and how long it takes them to get to their destination.

Caldas said they can now monitor the entire perimeter from their control room and act instantly if a threat is detected. Additionally, they now have high-quality video evidence for all cases that is easy to export and send to long-term archives. “Both employees and outsiders are now aware of the system we have in place, which is already having a deterrent effect in relation to theft,” Caldas said.

Pelco Sarix and Spectra cameras were selected based on their reliability, image quality, and ability to withstand the corrosive elements of salt air.

“The Pelco cameras, true to their reputation, are proving to be quite resistant to the salt air of the port,” Caldas said. “This is extremely important in an environment like ours — close to the ocean with very high corrosion.”

ZPE Ceará already plans to expand its system throughout 2014 to accommodate two new gates, and it’s preparing for 450% growth in the next five years.

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