ISJ Exclusive: A true working partnership


Share this content


Qingdao Port has enhanced conditions for port staff with smart video technology from Hikvision.

At ports around the world, tally clerks work tirelessly to monitor the flow of trailers and containers based on shipping logs and other documentation. By matching container ID numbers with port records, they create an auditable record of all goods entering and leaving the facility – allowing customs controls to be implemented and ensuring that logistics operations run smoothly.

“Wang Xianpeng, a tally clerk at Qingdao Port in China has worked on the docks for 18-years, exposing him to extreme temperatures and other health and safety risks,” said Chen He, Transportation Industry Manager, Hikvision. “Now, Wang and his colleagues can conduct their daily work from the comfort of a temperature-controlled control room, thanks to latest-generation smart video technology from Hikvision.”

As well as being fast-paced and mentally demanding, the work of a tally clerk is often highly physical. In addition, clerks are often exposed to extreme weather conditions, from ice and snow in the winter, to intense sun and soaring temperatures in the summertime.

In addition to these challenges, working on port docks can be dangerous, largely due to risks posed by moving equipment and vehicles as well as falling containers. The challenges of the port environment require tally clerks to be aware of their surroundings at all times – and to wear protective clothing, such as steel-capped boots.

Wang Xianpeng’s story

These occupational challenges and hazards have long affected Wang Xianpeng, a tally clerk at Qingdao Port in China. For the last 18 years, he has been tallying containers and trailers as they move through the port, working outside in all weathers to keep logistics operations on track.

“In the summer, the temperatures on the dock reach 50 degrees Celsius, which makes it very difficult to stay cool and hydrated,” explained Xianpeng. “Then, in the winter, it can be minus ten degrees Celsius; I remember occasions when I’ve stopped for a moment to warm up my hands on a light bulb.”

The Hikvision solution

To improve working conditions for Xianpeng, as well as the other tally clerks, Qingdao Port has partnered with Hikvision to roll out an intelligent tally system at 84 cranes across the facility. The smart solution – which uses AI technology to recognise container and trailer ID numbers and to make them electronically ‘readable’ – allows Xianpeng to perform the majority of his daily tasks remotely from the comfort of a temperature-controlled operations room. 

The system streams video footage and sends container and trailer ID numbers to monitors in the tally operations room in real time. ID numbers are also cross-referenced with port records automatically to ensure consistency with shipping bills.

If everything is present and correct, the tally is completed automatically and the loading process is initiated. Otherwise, Wang receives an automated alarm, allowing him to respond quickly and appropriately to resolve the issue.

Minimising health and safety risks

With the new smart system, Wang and his colleagues in the tally team are no longer exposed to physical risks on the docks. What’s more, they can now carry out their daily work comfortably in a temperature-controlled environment.

“It’s like a spring day in the operations room and we no longer deal with extreme temperatures and weather in the summer and wintertime,” added Xianpeng. The new technology has also reduced their safety risks and overall workloads, which is a very welcome change.  

200% efficiency gains for the port authority

As well as making tally operations safer and more comfortable for Xianpeng and the tally team, the Hikvision solution has also helped the port to increase loading efficiency by 200%. With a previous manual approach to tally operations, each clerk had to manage a single ‘line’. Today, however, clerks can work three lines simultaneously with less effort whilst being at less risk; this has increased overall loading efficiency by 200%.

The intelligent tally solution is also helping the port to evolve its services and optimise customer experiences. This is enabled by innovative capabilities such as tally information queries and cargo status tracking, which allows customers to review the status of their shipments as they pass through the port.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox