|Van Maanen Transport BV installed 25 network cameras from Axis Communications|
Van Maanen Transport BV is a transport company in Barneveld, The Netherlands. After building a new warehouse, Van Maanen decided to set up camera monitoring in and around the buildings. This way, the transport company could keep watch inside and out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and use the camera images as evidence in the event of incidents such as collisions and damage to trucks and other equipment.
It was decided to install 25 network cameras from Axis Communications. Cameras are mounted inside and outside each warehouse, and jointly cover the entire site. In combination with video management software from Milestone, Van Maanen is able to see inside the warehouses during loading and unloading and to monitor the gate and reception area in order to record every visitor or guest.
From slight skepticism at the outset, opinion has changed: cameras do not pose any problem as long as there is nothing to hide. This positive attitude originates from the fact that cameras have resolved several major and minor incidents, ranging from collisions, damage and theft, to the presence of uninvited guests.
Van Maanen Transport is a family business which was set up in the early 1930s. Now almost 80 years later, horse and cart have given way to trucks, and Van Maanen no longer transports hay and straw but high quality food-related products such as starch and milk powder, and bulk goods such as latex and glass fiber fleece. The company now employs 250 people.
Storage and warehousing
Van Maanen's service is focused on four core activities. The first is international transport in Europe. The second activity is Benelux distribution within 24 hours, where Van Maanen as distributor carries the pallets. The third activity consists of open transport and special transport for carrying goods with a non-standard size. The final activity is warehousing, where Van Maanen takes care of storage and stock management for customers. The division is 90% transport and 10% warehousing.
To keep an eye on the existing premises and warehouses, and in particular Hall 11 which opened in 2008 and has capacity for 11,000 pallets, Van Maanen opted for camera monitoring. The cameras had to be implemented within a complete set of security measures including a high-powered fence where live wires can shock people on contact, and access control via barriers and security passes.
Five AXIS 214 PTZ Network Cameras outdoors and twenty AXIS 215 PTZ cameras indoor
Willem van Riesen, Director at Van Maanen, explains why they chose network cameras: "We chose network cameras based on two reasons. Firstly we wanted to assure our customers that their goods could be stored safely with us. We can give this guarantee mainly because the cameras monitor and record the loading, unloading and storage of their goods. And we almost always have visitors on our site, such as drivers, suppliers and guests. Most of them, of course, have good intentions, but thefts or truck accidents do sometimes happen, resulting in damage to buildings or trucks."
Good experiences with Axis
The network cameras used by Van Maanen are provided by Axis Communications. A deliberate choice as far as Van Riesen is concerned: "In my previous job I had had good experiences with Axis, because of the clarity of the images and the countless possibilities for viewing images. These cameras were then, as now, supplied by Axis partner Secured by Web."
"Together, we devised a security strategy," continues Willem van Riesen. "We wanted to monitor the entire site in the most effective way, with as few blind spots as possible." As a result of this cameras are now mounted inside and outside each warehouse. Another camera connected to the intercom system is mounted in the reception area. Everyone entering the site is now recorded several times. Willem van Riesen says: "The moment you step onto our premises, you're recorded by at least three cameras. This way, we can keep an eye on everyone on our site."
There are now 25 network cameras at Van Maanen, twenty indoors, and five outdoors. The indoor cameras are AXIS 215 PTZ Network Cameras. This type of camera is movable, which makes it possible to zoom in on details. For example, it is possible to zoom in on a specific aisle or walkway with expensive goods in order to monitor these constantly. If necessary, the camera is also able to switch quickly from a detailed image to an overview image.
Bart Sebregts, Director at Secured by Web, explains why this type of camera was the most suitable in this case: "Van Maanen wanted to serve two clear purposes with the cameras. The first of these was monitoring and supervising their goods and premises. Besides this, the cameras needed to have a preventative role. The dome camera which Van Maanen chose has a black dome, so you can never see exactly where the lens is pointing, which means that vandals or thieves will not dare take risks."
"There are five AXIS 214 PTZ Network Cameras outdoors, used for the same reasons as the AXIS 215 PTZ, namely the possibility to switch between an overview image and clear, detailed images with the same camera, without anyone seeing where the camera is pointing. The difference is that these cameras have an external housing."
Axis network cameras integrated with Milestone's video management software
Van Riesen and his warehouse manager mostly monitor the site themselves. "I can simply log in and observe things via Milestone's video management software, even from home." In addition to this a number of people are authorized to monitor the images. The receptionist is authorized to monitor the front door and barrier via the cameras; and all warehouse managers can view images from their own warehouses. The members of the management team are authorized to monitor all images.
Unmasking a thief
When asked whether the cameras fulfill their purpose, Van Riesen gives a positive response. "Absolutely, we have been able to resolve major and minor incidents. I can recall a certain pallet thief. This was a very smart, now ex-employee of ours. We discovered that we were losing quite a few wooden pallets. We suspected that one of our employees was taking extra pallets on his trips. When we compared the data from the on-board computer and the camera images of the warehouse, we found that this driver was adding extra pallets when loading his truck, in order to sell these later. In this case the cameras provided us with necessary evidence to prove our suspicions."
"This is the general view within Van Maanen: the cameras do not pose a problem when you have nothing to hide. Furthermore, they have already brought to light various truck accidents and thefts. In many cases, pictures speak louder than words."