G4S technology transforms concept of truck parking in Belgium

  • 27 Jul 2018 10:45

With serious transport crime, such as vehicle and cargo theft, hijacking and people smuggling, on the rise, G4S Belgium set out to create a pioneering secure facility for lorries and trucks to park safely.

Tucked away off the Kalken junction on one of the busiest roads in Belgium, the E17 highway, there is an innovative secure truck park, which is set to be the start of a global new way of protecting lorries, drivers and their cargo overnight.
 
Transport crime causes significant economic damage across Europe, and incidents are often violent and traumatic for the drivers.  The number of incidents involving stowaways, as a result of increased migration, has also seen a significant rise.
 
European laws dictate how many hours lorries can be driven before a driver needs to take a rest, making safe and secure parking options an imperative for drivers and the companies who employ them to transport cargo across the continent.  
 
Belgium’s first fully integrated, automated secure truck park, designed by G4S, uses innovative technology and expertise to ensure that up to 80 lorries can be parked safely and securely at any time 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.    
 
Secure parking places for trucks and commercial vehicles has been listed as a top priority in the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) action plan and EU directive.  Intelligent Transport Systems can significantly contribute to a cleaner, safer and more efficient transport system and it is essential that European lorry drivers have appropriate information on safe and secure parking areas.  The overall capacity of truck parking areas across Europe needs to be improved and EU guidelines recommend developing infrastructure every 100km to provide appropriate parking space for commercial road users with an appropriate level of safety and security.
Belgium truck park
Opened in November 2017 by Ben Weyts, Flemish Minister for Mobility, the G4S initiative in Kalken is a partnership between G4S Belgium and one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, Total.  The European Commission, the Flemish government and the European Secure Parking Organisation have also been instrumental in establishing the project.
 
The secure truck park site operates using G4S Atlas, a tailor made software programme that addresses every security risk identified by G4S in collaboration with the project partners.  G4S Atlas uses extensive identification technology for both drivers and their trucks, access control systems, CCTV, interactive touch screens, remote-controlled on site cameras and virtual monitoring.
G4S technology solutions
All the data collected by G4S Atlas (such as tickets, license plate numbers, passcodes and drivers’ photographs) are stored on the G4S database. The parking is monitored off site in the G4S monitoring control room, where the operators have a full view of what is happening at the truck park, the first security level IV park in Belgium.
 
Higher security levels will become mandatory for truck parks from 2020 onwards. One of the highest in Europe, security level IV enforces the highest quality access control, guaranteeing that the same driver with the same truck enters and leaves the enclosed parking area. It must also include real time monitoring, pre-booking and registration of drivers and vehicles, and quick alarm intervention.  
At G4S, we strongly believe that interconnectivity will pioneer the future.
Veerle De Marez Business Development Manager, G4S Belgium
Veerle De Marez, Business Development Manager at G4S Belgium, who lead the initiative explains: “At G4S we strongly believe that interconnectivity will pioneer the future, and this is reflected in the design and monitoring of our Secure Truck Parking in Belgium. Our technology and expertise have completely transformed the concept of truck parking into a fully integrated, completely automated and hassle-free solution that actively reinforces cargo theft prevention.”
 
Approximately 85 trucks have been using the Secure Truck Park each day, since it opened for the first time in November 2017. The integration of Intelligent Video Analytics on the CCTV enables the operators to intervene very fast in case of intrusion.  The control team also has direct links with the local police department. The combination of high-end technology and tailor-made software has resulted in a very efficient total solution with a low operational cost.
Belgium truck park security guard
Pieter Vandervelden, Project Manager, Total, explains why they approached G4S in the beginning.  “The Flemish government specified a very high level of security as a condition to build and manage the parking area. We approached G4S with this specific challenge, knowing their expertise in security technology.”
 
G4S developed an automated solution which means the operational running cost is very low.
Vandervelden from Total is positive about the impact of the integrated security solution that G4S has provided at the Secure Truck Park.  He explains, "If we now evaluate the whole process we are impressed by the technological expertise that has been used to develop a totally automated, flawless concept."
 
Truck drivers are also pleased with the new truck park. The automated software means that more than 95 per cent of drivers exit the parking area without any manual interference, and feedback from those using the facility has been overwhelmingly positive.  Drivers are comforted when they can park their vehicle somewhere secure, and companies are reassured that their employees and cargo are safe.  
 
De Marez continues, “G4S takes care of the installation, monitoring and maintenance, which creates an easy, stress free solution for the customer. There is considerable potential to replicate this secure parking all across the world and we’re looking forward to seeing more places adopting and benefiting from our pioneering technology.”
^