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Bringing safety and security to Wallenius Wilhelmsen

Wallenius Wilhelmsen is a household name in the world of logistics. The company offers a wide range of specialised processing services, world-class supply chain services, terminal handling and inland distribution, mainly for manufacturers of cars, trucks and heavy machinery. Last year alone, Wallenius Wilhelmsen moved 3.65 million cars, rolling stock and break-bulk units, as well as over 5 million units in processing centres around the world.

Its Belgian terminal is located in Zeebrugge, in the world's largest RoRo (roll-on, roll-off) port. The port of Zeebrugge has two berths and covers an area of 50 hectares. From there, Wallenius Wilhelmsen serves its customers around the world, using both deep-sea and short-sea services, as well as rail and road connections to the rest of Europe.

Worker safety is - and always has been - our number one priority. By combining our radio systems with our video security systems, we have an innovative solution that allows us to increase safety, security and operational efficiency at our terminal.

And we're not stopping there. Our goal is to further develop our internal expertise to maximise the potential of both systems and the combined ecosystem. Together with our partners, we will also be on the lookout for new features and functionality. This wide range of opportunities and potential synergies should ensure that we remain at the forefront of the smart, secure ports of the future.”

Wallenius Wilhelmsen had been working with PS: Radiocom for more than six years. The teams in the port of Zeebrugge, both those working on board the ships and those working on the docks, had been using TETRA radios from Motorola Solutions over a standard network. However, this network did not provide complete, reliable coverage across all decks of the ships (some of which have up to 12 levels), particularly those below the waterline.

A review of safety practices led to an urgent need for more robust communications, to ensure worker safety. That’s where PS: Radiocom proposed a move to a dedicated MOTOTRBO™ network, and after a series of successful tests, a MOTORBO Capacity Plus Multi-Site system was installed in Zeebrugge.

During the tender process, it became clear that Wallenius Wilhelmsen was also looking to upgrade its video security system. PS: Radiocom highlighted the potential synergies and benefits of the Safety Reimagined Ecosystem and following a further procurement process, GDW Security was selected to deploy an Avigilon™ video security system. Wallenius Wilhelmsen was impressed by the high performance and advanced analytics of Avigilon's technology, as well as the huge potential of an integrated radio and video system.

Two SLR 5500 repeaters have been installed at Wallenius Wilhelmsen's main site and two more at a nearby site used for extra capacity, about 2km away. PS: Radiocom also strategically positioned a number of antennas facing the ship's doors, where vehicles and cargo are loaded and unloaded. The solution provides robust, reliable coverage across the two sites, both in the port and in all areas on board the vessels. Workers such as the operations teams managing loading, unloading and storage, as well as office staff, have been equipped with DP4801e radios, which they use primarily for shore to ship communications. The man-down feature and emergency call buttons enhance operator safety, and the GPS positioning functionality will also be used when the port deploys the SmartPTT dispatch software.

The system is in use 24/7, with most calls being individual. However, the port has set up various call groups on the system, including cranes, breakbulk, vehicles, high and heavy (H&H), security and an all-call group for selected handsets for emergency or inter-site communications, as well as a Talk Box group. The Talk Box, which houses a MOTOTRBO DM4400e mobile radio, was developed by PS: Radiocom specifically for Wallenius Wilhelmsen, and is used by the shunter drivers to request a lift back to the vessel. The on-site security teams make use of the same system for communication and alarm management. A number of Avigilon cameras were installed at the site to provide full video coverage of the 50 hectares, increasing port security. Wallenius Wilhelmsen is also using or planning to use a wide range of Avigilon AI video analytics capabilities to identify potential problems and maximise the potential of radio and video integration. PS: Radiocom has also implemented the Radio

Alert automated messaging system.

This allows security teams and staff to receive and respond to Avigilon Control Center (ACC) alarms on their radios. For example, if the cameras detect a perimeter breach or other suspicious behaviour, security personnel will immediately receive an alert on their radios and can go to investigate. Similarly, users will receive an alert on their radios if they are in a restricted area, such as a fumigation zone. Users can also raise alarms and security teams can then immediately focus on the relevant camera footage. This integration enables teams to make informed decisions, respond to incidents more quickly and effectively, and mobilise staff efficiently in the event of an emergency. Ultimately, the integration further enhances the security of the terminal.


Sam De Spiegelaere: "This new, integrated deployment has brought a change in attitude and a positive vibe to our site. The level of security has definitely improved and we can work smarter. Yes, it took a bit of getting used to. Yes, we had a few teething problems and had to tweak a few things here and there, but now we are all very happy with our new systems.

And it's time to think about how we can independently optimise all the functionality that the integrated systems offer and keep up with all the updates and new technology.

Future plans

Wallenius Wilhelmsen's operations in Zeebrugge are set to double in size over the next few years with a 49-hectare expansion in Orcelle. The first 10 hectares of this new site have already been developed and the Motorola Solutions Safety Reimagined system will be extended to cover this area, with PS: Radiocom continuing to configure and programme the system to the port's requirements. Wallenius Wilhelmsen is also looking at deploying SmartPTT dispatch software, so that security teams can see the position of cameras on maps and quickly locate any man-down alarms, as well as considering other radio handsets, such as the MOTOTRBO Ion Portable Smart Radio with Scandit software, so that the radios can also be used as barcode scanners. The Orchestrate business automation tool could also be used to help security teams with the management and optimisation of alarm response workflows. alarm response workflows.

Sylvie Debaere, CEO of PS: Radiocom: "There is always a solution if you look hard enough, and we are very pleased to have delivered this innovative, flexible and scalable solution that ensures maximum safety for the workers and security for the port. This is a stunning, impressive site and Wallenius Wilhelmsen is such a progressive company. It's great to work with a global company like them and hopefully some of their other terminals will look to implement similar Safety Reimagined systems in the future.

“Communication with our partners, PS: Radiocom for the radio side and GDW Security and Lobeco Fire + Security for the video side, has been excellent.
This is an ongoing, complex deployment and they have been very supportive in delivering a comprehensive, optimal solution. PS: Radiocom is managing the further integration and expansion of the systems and we look forward to continuing our successful collaboration.”

Bringing safety and security to Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Bringing safety and security to Wallenius Wilhelmsen