Our new solution partner delivers flexible and accessible solutions to recognize shipping containers using cameras, also called OCR (optical character recognition).
The company focuses on inland terminals, container depots, and other logistical service providers where containers are an important part of the logistics process. We interviewed Sander Maas, CEO and founder of Sentors, to learn more about his company.
Activities and expertise in traffic and transport
Sander introduces Sentors as a supplier of camera systems that can recognise sea containers. These cameras are placed at entrances and exits of container transits, depots, factories and shippers/warehouses. Sentors register all container-related information that is important in the operation and planning of these organisations. This usually starts with registering the unique container identification code, but the container type and a dangerous goods indication are also included. The same applies to the license plates of the truck and trailer with which the container is transported, and in the case of a train, we also register the wagon code. This information is then bundled and forwarded to the planning software in real-time.
Benefits of using a smart camera system
Sander tells us, “The benefits of the camera system are time savings, error checks whether the correct container is on the right trailer, and a billing check. The information can also be used as evidence in disputes in the event of container damage. A major advantage of our approach is the modular setup and flexible deployment. We can already start with one camera, and existing infrastructure, such as masts, can be reused. We mainly focus on logistics applications but on multimodal modes of transport (water, rail and road). This means that our applications are also conceivable for traffic and transport, such as measuring how many containers are transported by road or rail or registering the transport of dangerous goods.”
Added-value Sentors-Monotch partnership
“The added value of working with Monotch is twofold for us. On the one hand, it concerns the sector in which Monotch is active. With our products, we also see opportunities for applications in the traffic sector, while Monotch already provides solutions for accessing traffic data with which municipalities and provinces are familiar. So, if we are going to do traffic measurements for road authorities, we could open this up to Monotch. Monotch can then further enrich this with other data sources, create dashboards, and make this data accessible to different users.
On the other hand, it concerns Monotch’s technical platform. Our solutions aim to serve one organisation that owns the camera system and its site. But as soon as this is accessible for multiple users with different rights and interests, whether or not supplemented with other data sources, you get entirely different dynamics and need expertise in data governance. So who can see what, and how do you draw up these data governance rules? Monotch already has a lot of experience with this and has arranged this in their TLEX-Plattform for, among other things, the traffic control systems (TLCs). Both aspects are also reflected in our collaboration in the DALI project at the Port and Industrial Estate of Moerdijk. Here Sentors takes care of the container registration at the entrance, and Monotch uses this data and supplements it with other data such as gates and TLCs, and makes this data accessible.”, Sander explains.
“Sentors and Monotch have been working together for a year now in the DALI project in Moerdijk, and the collaboration already feels familiar. Paul Potters and I had known each other for several years before we started working together, which also helps. We are now looking at options for further rollout of our joint solutions, especially at the intersection of traffic and logistics, for example, in industrial areas or public traffic applications with a logistics element such as container transport. We are complementary to this, both in terms of market focus and technical field. I expect this to be applied to more projects in which we will work together in the short term, not only in the Netherlands but also in Belgium, for example.”, Sander concludes.