Ports are vital infrastructure for global trade, as entry and exit points for ships carrying goods and passengers. A meeting point of sea and land, ports play a significant role in the global economy, where having security measures in order to prevent threats from external and internal sources is essential. Indeed, ports are crucial intermodal nodes in the transportation network, as well as important border control points.

Their security is therefore of paramount importance not only because of their critical transportation functions but also because of their specific role, as checkpoints, in regional, national, and global security.

Optex seaport

Port security

Since 2004, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed on a new security regime for shipping, the cornerstone of which is the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. In this regulation, maritime security is defined as the set of preventive measures designed to protect shipping and port facilities from threats of intentional unlawful acts. The main objective of ISPS is the security of maritime ships and their land interfaces. The cornerstone of the ISPS Code is the Port Facility Security Assessment (PFSA), an integral and essential part of the process of developing and updating the Port Facility Security Plan (PFSP). The port facility security assessment is conducted directly by the contracting Government or recognized security organizations and includes, among other things, identification of perimeter protection, access control, and identification of weaknesses, including human factors, in the infrastructure.

Perimeter protection and access control

One of the critical components of port security is the protection against unauthorized entry into the perimeter, which can occur by sea or by land. The fact that the port perimeter is regularly patrolled by security personnel or that access control points are established does not guarantee that only authorised persons enter the port.

Create a virtual perimeter where there is no fence or wall

One of the most widely used solutions to increase port security is the use of CCTV/AI but the saline environment, breeze, and humidity can corrode the cameras and impair their operation. Another disruptive element to the proper operation of the CCTV system can be occlusions of the visible area blocked by containers or low light. OPTEX offers an optimal security solution in port areas with its long-range REDSCAN Pro series.

Through LiDAR technology it is possible to:

  • create a virtual wall at the confluence point between sea and land
  • carry out activities inland by generating a laser curtain only a few centimetres wide at the sea border to avoid any disruption to port operations
  • protect buildings within the harbour perimeter (roofs, facades)
  • protect vulnerable areas of the perimeter, such as vehicle access areas
  • monitor stopped vehicles at intersections and ensure continued operation
  • ensure detection with a minimum number of false alarms due to the speed and accuracy of the laser
  • create support for access control measures.
Harbour water line protection with RLS Pro

The REDSCAN series is designed in such a way that it can be mounted on a wall, pole or flat surface creating a vertical or horizontal wall that intercepts the size and exact point of intrusion. Alerts can be set up based on different rules or logic, which means the security system can adapt to whatever an organisation needs to monitor and filter out. For instance, if a person enters a zone in the port where there is a security guard stationed, the system can be set to not issue an alert – but if the guard is absent, operators can be notified of the visitor’s presence.

The REDSCAN series can be integrated into an environment with multiple subsystems via ONVIF, HTTP/S, REC, thus enabling integration with major VMS, EAC, , ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) and PSIM systems, among others.


Anti-intrusion technology for fenced perimeters

There are areas in the port that are bounded by a physical perimeter such as a wall or rigid or semi-rigid fences, for example the Logistics Activities Zone (LAZ), which is an area located in places near ports and container terminals, offering intermodal logistics well connected to air transport, by rail or by road. These areas often have very wide perimeters, multiple entry points (vehicular, pedestrian and maritime), and a high presence of vehicles and permanent activities where the security system should not interfere.

The new Echopoint™ series from Fiber Sensys, part of the OPTEX Group, can be the ideal solution for protecting the perimeter of these areas. Fence-mounted or installed underground, it adapts to the environment, resists corrosion and salinity, and is unaffected by adverse weather conditions such as fog and lightning. The EchoPoint™ series uses intelligent detection algorithms to accurately pinpoint the location of an intrusion with a margin of +/- 6 meters within a range of up to 100km. Point location is supported by dividing the system into several software-defined virtual zones that can adapt to the risks or level of protection required.

This highly accurate and reliable detection makes the sensors ideal for protecting large perimeters and high-risk security sites where it is critical to be able to locate and identify the precise point of intrusion. Operating only at the perimeter level, it does not interfere with LAZ activity, nor does it require vacant spaces where detection can take place, but allows for early warning in case someone approaches the fence or tries to climb over it. The Echopoint series can be integrated with different subsystems via XML.

EchoPoint Series


Physical port security is essential to ensure the security of ports, ships, cargo, and personnel. By implementing appropriate physical security measures, cargo control, personnel control, surveillance and monitoring, and emergency response planning, ports can prevent and minimize threats. Effective implementation of physical security measures is critical to maintaining the flow of international trade and port security for all users.

Take the first step towards safeguarding your port and global trade. Contact our sales team now to discuss your project.

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