Case Study: Auto-tracking Quay Crane for Lighter

The Client

 Suitable for big ports with high cargo volume.

Business Need

  • Current Situation:
    • Seaports are operating several cranes for moving cargo between trucks and lighters.
    • Their customers are charged based on the number of Chargeable lifts.
    • For many non-digital seaports, admin lifts (lifts of nonchargeable items e.g. wastes, empty pallets, etc and off-loading lifts) are filtered out manually. Also, transactions (consists of several lifts) are being recorded manually.
    • The whole operation is monitored from the control room.

    Pain-point: whenever there’s a mismatch in the bill, tracing back to a specific transaction (paper, video) is taking lots of time.

    Needs: Automate the counting, reduce human error, tracing back easily, tracking of lifting time for optimization.

The Solution

We have developed an Auto-tracking of Quay Crane solution to automate the way of counting lifts and monitoring crane operation. The system will:

  • Automatically tracking all operation of crane (using computer vision and sensor) including:
    • Moving time, direction, moved angle & distance
    • From/to position
    • Indicator of non-chargeable items
    • Actual weight
    • Start/stop lifting time
  • Derive the type of each lift (chargeable or admin) for billing through analyzing all information collected above.
  • The tracking information will be streaming to the Port’s data lake for further visualization and optimization.


Tracking system detail

  • Crane tracking from the outside camera to get:
    • Start/stop timestamp of each lift
    • Moving direction
    • Moved angle or distance
  • Crane tracking from inside the cabinet (which we assume that will always facing the hooks and the cargo) to get:
    • From/to position: Lift from Truck to ground / Truck to vessel / Ground to Vessel and vice versa.
  • Indicator of non-chargeable items (which are always put in net for lifting):
    • Using nets with different color
    • Or attach an additional sign could be easier for both worker and the system. E.g. a ball with special pattern and reflective paint.
  • Weight sensor built-in is helpful to know:
    • Start/stop lifting time
    • Actual weight.


Combination of Tracking Info for analysis


The Benefits

  • Expect to have 100% accuracy of counting
  • Cut down the effort of manual lift tracking.
  • Reducing the time of tracing back to a specific transaction from around 30-60 minutes to 5 minutes.
  • Easy real-time tracking of all operation for better management and transparency.


Computer vision, Cloud (AWS), Analytics


We are digitalizing the logistics industry. Checking out our Service offering for Logistics here.