Every day, 150,000 parcels are transported by the French DPD group, which makes nearly 55 million parcels per year. E-commerce is growing the parcel business and, consequently, the transportation volume of parcel service and logistics companies. Online shopping would be unthinkable for the consumers without the speedy delivery of the ordered goods - therefore it is self-evident to keep track of shipments on their way to the consignee, in order to guarantee a correct delivery.­

DPD France video systems

DPD France is part of La Poste Groupe, the largest parcel service provider in the country. The company operates numerous logistics depots, in which the consignments are collected, sorted and reloaded according to their destination. The timely transport of the parcel volumes, which are handled in the depots day by day, requires a high level of organisation and a precise monitoring of all processes in order to be able to ascertain where a shipment is currently located.

In order to cope with the high volume of shipments, the depots are equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as conveyor belt systems and scanner terminals, which allow the tracking of the route any shipment takes within the facility. On-schedule operations and reliable delivery are important quality criteria in the parcel logistics industry.DPD France has been using video systems for some time, which monitor the processes inside the depots

For this reason, DPD France has been using video systems for some time, which monitor the processes inside the depots. However, these were mostly analogue systems, which should now be replaced by modern IP-based video solutions in order to document the sorting and transfer processes of the packages, too.

Search for a more flexible system

As part of the modernisation, DPD intended to replace the old technology with more open and ­ flexible systems providing extended search options in order to be able to track parcels as quickly as possible. The solution should be very reliable and, for the future, be simply expandable by additional camera channels to keep up with the growing volume of shipments. Furthermore, the software should be easy to use for employees, in order to avoid complex trainings and long learning times.

The detailed and reliable dispatch tracking, as well as the surveillance of the depots to resolve cases of loss and to optimise the processes, were therefore set as project targets. The challenge of the project was also to secure the depots in compliance with TAPA - which mainly means monitoring all entrance and exit gates for at least 17 hours a day as well as motion-based image recording outside this period.

The detailed and reliable dispatch tracking, as well as the surveillance of the depots to resolve cases of loss and to optimise the processes
The SeeTec Cayuga software should be easy to use for employees, in order to avoid complex trainings and long learning times

The solution: SeeTec Cayuga

With the Cayuga product line, SeeTec offers a powerful and flexibly extendable video management software that has been supplemented by the SeeTec BVI Logistics module with scanner interface for the DPD depots in France. In addition, I/O modules are used in both depots to enable the transmission and reception of control signals. Among other things, doors and gates can be opened directly by pushing a button in the SeeTec user interface.

The expandability of the Multi Solution Platform allows new components to be added at any time - for example, to automatically capture and analyse the number plates of incoming vehicles.

The video management software SeeTec Cayuga sets itself apart from competitors by the openness and flexibility of the system as well as by the support of a large number of different camera manufacturers and models.SeeTec Cayuga sets itself apart from competitors by the openness and flexibility of the system as well as by the support of a large number of different camera manufactures and models

Successful result in warehouse management system

Based on SeeTec Cayuga and SeeTec BVI Logistics, all conveyor belts, entrance and exit doors as well as the entire interior zone are now being monitored with 280 HD cameras in Tours and 380 in Beaune. This means that the complete process of shipment processing from incoming parcels via sorting by destination through to handover to the delivery agent is seamlessly documented.

The data from the video system is combined with the data from the various barcode scanners along the conveyor belts for detailed evaluation. It is therefore possible to determine at what time each individual parcel was located at which point in the distribution centre.

The installation of a total of 61 scanners from the manufacturer Sick ensures the monitoring of the conveyor belts, and these scanners export the barcodes from five viewing angles. On this basis, each parcel is tracked in the warehouse management system, assigned to the correct destination and, via a selector switch, forwarded to the right conveyor belt, which transports it to the appropriate loading bay. In the SeeTec user interface, a special research view can be used to search for parcels using different parameters such as barcode or tracking number.

The software visualises the route of the shipment through the distribution centre on the basis of video recordings, so that the user can compare all available data and can localise error sources quickly. Thanks to these options the clarification of damage or loss can be significantly accelerated.

Patrick Cavoue from DPD France is satis­fied with the result: “With the logistics solution from SeeTec, we are able to track the route each parcel is taking in our depots without any gaps – right up to the handover to the delivery agent. The SeeTec BVI client allows a targeted search without hours of searching through video footage and is therefore perfectly suited to quickly and efficiently identify loss or damage. This lowers our costs and ultimately leads to signi­ficantly increased customer satisfaction.”

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Adapting servers for IP video surveillance systems: Why manufacturers struggle
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