Old City Harbour is one of the biggest and busiest passenger harbors in the Baltic region. It is also the biggest passenger harbor for both Port of Tallinn and Estonia. Tallink, Eckerö Line, and Viking Line boats and ferries depart from the Old City Harbour for Helsinki, as well as the Tallink vessels operated on the Tallinn – Stockholm route and St. Peterline vessels on the Tallinn – St. Petersburg route. Passenger service is available at three passenger terminals: A-, B- and D-terminals.
Smart Port Project is a traffic flow management solution organizing pre-check-in, check-in, and line management for ports with multiple ferry operators by providing holistic and easy to understand service for people with trucks and cars. Smart Port Project reduces passengers waiting time in the harbor, providing a comprehensive, time-saving, and understandable service.
The development of this project started already in 2014. Hansab supplied a contemporary traffic management automation solution based on vehicle registration number plate identification.
Description of the traffic management system
Traffic management, vehicles identification, and access systems are largely automated in the A-terminal. Drivers who have previously booked a ticket and marked their vehicle registration number correctly, pass the port area much quicker than before. Automated traffic management system will significantly reduce the time spent on check-ins, increase throughput and thereby optimize ship operator and port work.
When a vehicle enters the port area, the front and back numbers are detected, the height/width /length is measured, and a vehicle is weighed on the road using a special WIM weigh in motion system. Data received from the number detection and measurement systems is automatically transmitted to the port management system, which checks the existence and conformity of the booking and provides further guidance to the driver at the end of the detection area. Driving instructions and information is shown on AMPRON LED displays, which are specially designed for port conditions. To guide the vehicles, the automation solution is used that manages the barriers and guarantees that hazardous incidents will not happen on the movement area.
Hele-Mai Metsal, Head of Infrastructure Development Department in Port of Tallinn says, that the check-in process has become much faster and more convenient for both operators and passengers:
„For the operators, our new system means the fastest possible loading of vessels and depending on the vessel, maybe even still shorter time in the harbor. The system helps to arrange the vehicles in the right order for loading and thus time savings in the harbor. This gives a possibility for higher utilization of the vessels. At the same time expenses are lower as less staff is needed at the kiosks and working as guides.“
Hele-Mai Metsal continues: „For the passengers, the new system means easy and more convenient visit in the harbor and shorter waiting time. For the Port, it means more efficient use of dock space, faster loading, and more efficient use of check-in points. The passengers are more satisfied and while the cars wait for a shorter time, also idling is shorter, causing less environmental impact.“
Hansab will also implement a similar traffic management system at the D-terminal, the project will be completed in the first half of 2018.