Bosch AI monitors shipping in Dutch port

  • December 18, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

An AI-based video security system from Bosch is ensuring that every ship or boat entering or leaving a Dutch harbour is logged.

At Scheveningen harbour in the coastal city of The Hague, Netherlands, the customised system developed by Bosch with its partner Dutch firm BrainCreators ( automatically registers and classifies shipping traffic.

Until now, employees at the port control centre had to keep an eye on shipping traffic around the clock from the window of the control centre and manually record the 80 or so vessels that pass through the port every day. The reason for the investment in intelligent security was the fear that criminals could seek alternative routes via smaller ports such as Scheveningen, now that large Dutch or Belgian ports such as Rotterdam and Antwerp have been more secure against smuggled goods for some time.

This was reason enough for the city council of The Hague to find a tailor-made option for the port of Scheveningen.

Most boats and ships entering the port are not required to register and, unlike purely commercial ports such as Rotterdam, the port cannot simply be closed off. In addition to cargo ships, there are also fishing boats and private sailing yachts at anchor, with small dinghies and rowing boats cruising between them. Keeping track of the movement of goods in particular is therefore challenging in Scheveningen, where the video security system with intelligent video analysis installed by Bosch provides support.

“The requirements for this project were very specific because the shipping traffic not only had to be filmed, but also registered and classified,” said Niels van Doorn, senior manager at Bosch. “The solution also had to provide information about the speed of travel. Standard software can’t do that. Together with our partner, we have therefore developed an AI that can identify and classify ships of all kinds, from passenger ships and freighters to sailing yachts and inflatable boats.”

These data aid in identifying suspicious shipping movements.

Development, planning and implementation took around 12 months. Two intelligent video cameras at the mouth of the harbour record the traffic. The specially developed AI classifies the ship types and registers them in a file.

Due to the difficult lighting conditions in the port, Flexidome IP starlight 8000i cameras from Bosch were chosen. They deliver detailed images even in difficult weather and lighting and enable the staff in the control centre to see every detail, even in very bright or dark image sections.

Today, all boat identifiers are recorded, documented, stored and automatically provided with additional information on date and time, direction of travel, and speed around the clock using AI. The streams from the cameras are fed directly into a video management system. Ships that are not seen in real time by the personnel on duty appear as still images on the screen. By analysing all the data on peak times and ship types, trends and deviations from the norm are determined.

“The dashboard gives staff an overview of all activities in the port,” said Ferry Ditewig, business development manager at Bosch ( “The software protects the privacy of the people recorded by making their faces unrecognisable. The new video documentation now provides solid evidence and helps to identify suspicious and unusual situations more quickly and effectively.”

The video system is also equipped for future challenges and can be flexibly expanded as required. For example, additional information from external sources could be integrated, such as meteorological data, tides or the automatic identification system (AIS) for exchanging ship data.