Using Machine Vision to Automate Shipping Truck Exits

1. Introduction

Logistics and transportation expenses take larger bites of the budget now. Companies continually analyze freight expenses and look for their logistics partners to implement solutions that help reduce cost. Two main issues effecting logistics cost: fuel and labor. Those costs are on the rise.

2. Background

A Fortune 500 company logistics partner searched for a system to manage and improve truck wait time at exit points. Currently, the company manages 7 yards that average 80,000 truck exits per month per yard. That’s over half a million exits every month. Before implementing our solution, the average wait time per truck was 3 minutes and exiting information like truck and container number required manual input.

3. Automation

911 Security integrates software and hardware solutions to speed processes, reduce errors and, ultimately, cut costs. We proposed a truck-exit solution using Google Machine Vision analytics, IP cameras, and driver-license scanners. The system identifies the driver, truck, and container numbers and matching them against transit records. When all credentials are verified, the gate opens.
Within days of implementation, the truck-exit wait time was reduced by 85%. The new average exit time was only 30 seconds.

4. Technology


The process is as follows:

  • First camera captures the truck license plate as it approaches the exit point.
  • Second camera captures the container number.
  • Image analysis is used to detect both the truck license plate and container identification numbers.
  • At the exit, the driver swipes his driver’s license.
  • A driver’s license decoder is used to extract the driver’s information.
  • Information is compared to the company’s database.
  • Exit is either granted or denied.

Accurate. Fast. Economical.

5. The Math

Economical? Let’s do the math.

  • The average truck driver wage makes $36 per hour, or $0.6 per minute. Dropping truck-exit wait time from 3 minute to only 30 seconds saves $1.5 per truck.
  • Truck fuel cost during idle averages $2.30 per hour. The 3 minute to 30 seconds reduction saves $0.11 per truck
  • For our client’s 80,000 truck exits every month, estimated savings on labor and gas total $128,000 per month per yard. They have 7 yards! That’s almost $900,000 savings every month!

Our client estimates a company-wide yearly savings of over $10,000,000 (yes, that’s 10 million dollars!) thanks to implementing the 911 Security truck-exit management system.

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