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RFID cards for access control and tracking of vehicles and drivers

RFID for identification and tracking of people and assets

Many terminals use RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) for the identification and tracking of people and assets. RFID tags are placed on assets or integrated on access/ID cards, and automatically read by RFID readers when in range. The tag data can then be transmitted to middleware software and to the TOS.

Valuable RFID applications on terminals are driver and vehicle identification and tracking, for which Camco provides complete turnkey solutions, including hardware (RFID cards and readers, client and enrollment stations, …) and software (databases, enrollment software, access control interfaces, …).  The same RFID card system can be used to automatically track all trucks and drivers present on your terminal, and serve as access control system (ISPS compliant). Should your terminal already employ a card system for ISPS compliance, it can be extended for tracking and tracing purposes. Successful RFID card implementations are CargoCard in Rotterdam, AlfaPass Card in Antwerp, RHIDES card in Felixstowe and TWIC card in the US.

Truck Driver RFID card: This type of RFID access card is used for security and access control purposes. Usually, passive RFID cards are used, with photo ID and personal information printed and embedded on the card, optionally including biometrics.

RFID vehicle identification serves several purposes:

  • At the gates it is used for lane matching between OCR portal and gate lane, linking the correct OCR data to the correct truck.
  • At the out gates it is used to check if the correct truck combination is leaving the terminal: mandatory match between truck ID, container IDs and driver ID.
  • At the interchange area it is used to ensure that the right container is (un)loaded on the right chassis.

RFID vehicle identification thus provides a less expensive and more accurate alternative to LPR. Usually, longer-range RFID tags are placed on the truck windshield, which are read while the trucks come in range of a tag reader. Typically, these readers are mounted inside the OCR camera portals, in the gate lanes, and in the interchange areas.

Camco’s CombiCard technology combines the short range tag (personal ID) with the long range tag card (vehicle ID) to serve two purposes: vehicle identification while driving and personal identification while standing still at a kiosk.  Camco has introduced this CombiCard system in several terminals such as Cargo Service in Aarhus, Denmark and the different Transnet terminals in South-Africa. Transnet has equipped more than 13,000 trucks with CombiCards allowing an easy, automated and accurate access control and vehicle tracking.

Active RFID tags

  • include a battery and transmitter
  • usually work as a transponder, sending info at regular intervals
  • communication range: more than 100 meters
  • limited battery life time and more expensive

Passive RFID tags

  • do not include a battery, but derive their power when in range of reader signal
  • communication range: 10 meter
  • cheaper and smaller than active tags

Semi-passive tags

  • act as passive tags but include a battery
  • communication range: up to 100 meter