1,000 eyes see more
Herbert Voigt GmbH & Co. KG is considered one of the pioneers in the field of video surveillance. Together with DIVIS, they developed solutions for general cargo handling, warehouse logistics and passenger access control.
Knowing everything that happens: Herbert Voigt GmbH & Co. KG is already pretty close to this vision. This applies at least to the events on the company's own premises, including the cargo handling and logistics halls. The basis for this are the more than 1,000 surveillance cameras that the forwarding agent from Neumünster has installed inside and outside at loading gates, house walls and masts.
Each camera produces images around the clock and sends them to a local database. The enormous amount of information is evaluated and structured by the system solution CargoVIS, which, like the cameras, comes from DIVIS. “Our connection with DIVIS is a long-standing partnership and a number of joint product developments that have been specifically tailored to our requirements,” reports Katharina Warlies, who is responsible for insurance and real estate management at Voigt.
High resolution optics
CargoVIS is used by Voigt in general cargo handling, in warehouse logistics and for access control - and in different forms: In the handling hall, the cameras are always assigned to the hall scanners, which are currently in the field of view of the high-resolution optics. This way, each barcode scan or each item number is linked with current video recordings of the goods. The connection between scanner and camera is made by scanning a barcode attached to the related hall gate. This action must be carried out by the employee only once at the beginning of his activities in the work area. Thereafter, all scanned consignments are automatically assigned to the related camera.
Image information and scan are linked together in CargoVIS
The new transshipment hall planned by Voigt for 2018 will have fully automatic control of the "correct" camera group. Each barcode scanner is located separately and assigned to the camera group in the respective hall section. Without any further action by the employee, the camera "with an eye" on each scan is assigned to the respective goods, and their images are linked with the consignment number. "We expect a further increase in productivity from the fully automatic version," says Warlies, who is convinced of the cost-effectiveness of video surveillance. "In goods handling alone, we search for consignments with CargoVIS several times a day," notes the trained forwarding agent. “Commodity values in the six-digit range" are not unusual.
Search terminals for drivers
Drivers research not findable shipments in CargoVIS at Herbert Voigt GmbH & Co. KG
A typical application are goods that can not be found in the outgoing goods department. This happens, for example, when instead of an exact shipment name in the bill of lading only the term "goods" is entered. "If you have no image of the consignment, the search is all the more difficult," says Warlies and adds: "With CargoVIS, our drivers can literally get a visual idea of the consignment."
In fact, the drivers at Voigt can independently research CargoVIS. For this purpose, search terminals have been set up in the hall, only requiring to enter the corresponding consignment number. As soon as the image of the goods appears on the monitor, the drivers can continue their "real" search - usually with quick success. "For the search terminals in the hall, the functions of CargoVIS are severely limited for reasons of data protection," emphasizes Warlies. Forwarding or printing the pictures is not possible. The same applies to the "live view function", which shows the current warehouse activity.
That makes it even easier to operate the terminals, which is appreciated by the drivers. "The employees in the warehouse are pleased that they can now work independently, while the colleagues from the office are noticeably relieved," Warlies describes the win-win situation.
360 degree turn
The daily positive experiences with CargoVIS lead to broad approval of the video surveillance by the workforce. After all, the technology not only facilitates searching, but also delivers evidence for customers, recipients and cooperation partners. "If goods are missing somewhere in the supply chain, you are quickly suspected as a freight forwarder," says Warlies. With the gapless video surveillance, it is now possible to prove at any time to what extent certain shipments have reached and left the warehouse. "With CargoVIS, colleagues can demonstrate the quality of their work at any time and quickly eliminate unjustified allegations."
Consignment search in CargoVIS at Herbert Voigt GmbH & Co. KG
At Voigt, this not only works in the transshipment but also in the logistics warehouses, where a simplified version of CargoVIS is used. There, the cameras are not linked to the hall scanners, especially as there are naturally fewer goods movements in this business area. Nevertheless, the system also delivers fast search results here, because at Voigt the product groups are assigned to specific shelf aisles. So the search can focus on the research of the images of each related camera. "The time frame is set by the entries on the packing slips, which are routinely marked with a time stamp by the employees," explains Holger Matzen, who is responsible for one of Voigt's logistics locations. In addition, the forwarder has come up with a trick so that each output palette can be viewed from all angles in a later search. "Immediately before loading, the employee turns the forklift with the pallet once around its own axis so that the camera mounted on the gate captures all four sides of the goods," says Matzen.
Fit for AEO
Access control with CargoVIS at Herbert Voigt GmbH & Co. KG
The third area of application of CargoVIS concerns access control. This is part of the AEO certification that Voigt has been offering since 2013. In this context, the customs authority requires that every entry and exit or every access to the site has to be completely documented and archived for ten years. For this purpose, Voigt has installed an access control system from Dormakaba at all locations, which is connected to CargoVIS via an interface.
Before entering, each visitor receives an access card with a six-digit code and an RFID chip that can be used to open certain doors, depending on their authorization. Each time a door is opened, the solution generates a data record with a time stamp, visitor code and location, so that the corresponding image of the corresponding camera for each access can be found later on. "On request, we can not only provide the customs authorities with the names, but also photos of the visitors," explains Katharina Warlies.
Conclusion: For Herbert Voigt GmbH & Co. KG, video surveillance is an indispensable tool for quality assurance and efficiency in all areas - and the resulting transparency ensures reliable conditions for employees, customers and partners.
Background: Herbert Voigt GmbH & Co. KG
Herbert Voigt GmbH & Co. KG is an international logistics service provider with extensive activities in the forwarding and warehouse solutions divisions. Founded in 1933, the family-owned company currently employs around 400 people and is being owner-managed by the third generation.
The forwarding division covers freight transports as well as parcel and general cargo shipments. At the headquarters in Neumünster, an 8,500-square-meter transshipment hall and a company-owned fleet are available. Connected to leading transportation networks, Voigt operates worldwide by land, sea or air. As a shareholder of DHL-Voigt International and Elvis, Voigt offers connections to leading international freight forwarding networks.
In the field of warehouse solutions, the range of services extends from warehousing and dispatch processing to diverse value-added services. These include, among other things, quality control in incoming goods, packaging, labeling and repacking of goods, returns processing, the taking of samples or display construction. In Neumünster and Parchim Voigt manages its own warehouses with a total area of 142,000 square meters.