The Indian government is looking to automate its container terminal’s gates using radio-frequency identification (RFID).
After this technology yielded positive results at India’s biggest state-owned port, Jawaharlal Nehru, the government wants other ports to follow suit.
Kolkata, Chennai, Cochin and Paradip have already awarded contracts for new gate systems and the government expects their installation to be completed by the end of 2016.
RFID technology allows automated identification of trucks, which speeds up the process of dropping off or picking up a container, and helps prevent the kind of truck queues which have been as extreme as to cause riots recently in India.
Different RFID systems work slightly differently but one used at Adani’s Hazira terminal, for example, works by giving the truck’s driver a tag to stick on their dashboard when they arrive at the port gate.
Staff members at the gate enter the tag’s identification number, along with data about the vehicle and the container it is picking up or delivering. The tag then stores this data and it is sent to the terminal operating system.
The truck then passes a pole-mounted reader, which opens the gate and records the truck has having entered the terminal.
The truck’s driver heads to the quay or yard crane, which reads the tag and provides the necessary information for the crane driver. The vehicle’s tag is read again as it exits the terminal and the tag is picked up by a member of staff.