Camera system and radar network for safer shipping

The Shipping Assistance Division of the Flemish government invested in a camera system in Ghent port in 2006. With 45 colour cameras in the port area, North Sea Port has been keeping an eye on things for a few years already now.

In addition to the existing camera system, at the end of 2012 new radars were installed at dangerous traffic junctions. Thanks to this new radar network, shipping traffic North Sea Port can go smoother, safer and more efficiently. The new network of 8 radars makes it possible to monitor and assist shipping in the port day in and day out, at any time of the day or night. The radar system is used by North Sea Port and also by Uitkijk Zelzate (Lookout Station at Zelzate bridge) of the Flemish government.

The new radars are installed at the most critical traffic junctions so that the entire Canal and all the docks are mapped out: at two positions on the corner of the Ringvaart (circular canal) around Ghent with the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal (from where inland vessels can sail on in the direction of the North of France), at the Sifferdok, at the Mercatordok, on the corner of the Moervaart with the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal, at the Kluizendok, Uitkijk Zelzate (Zelzate Lookout Station) and (later this year) at the customs office in Zelzate near the border with the Netherlands.

The images of both the cameras and the radar can be viewed on screens in the harbour master’s office. From here, the shipping traffic is assisted day and night.

Also North Sea Port Flanders’ crisis room was further equipped so that in case of a calamity in the port all operational information is present, be it from radar, AIS (the automatic vessel identification system), cameras and North Sea Port Flanders’ port information system. Moreover, this information is passed on to the authorities involved such as the shipping police and customs.