High tech RFID check in facilities are smoothing the passage for commercial vehicles crossing the Cook Strait. Part of a multi $Million upgrade of the Wellington and Picton ferry terminals, the new terminal infrastructure layout and integrated IT control system speeds the loading and turnaround of Interislander’s vessels while providing commercial vehicle customers with accurate information to help their business.

At the front end of the system, RFID technology has now replaced card swipe and (prior to that) manual methods for tracking vehicles entering the marshalling areas at both the Wellington and Picton ferry terminals.

Customers are issued with RFID windscreen tags, which are fitted in the upper right hand corner of the windscreen, above the driver. At each terminal, commercial vehicles drive at approximately 5 kmph over a weigh bridge as they approach the closed gate to the marshalling area. The tags are read automatically by an RFID reader system, the truck is identified and the data is fed into the Interislander marshalling control system.

If the truck is confirmed to be booked onto the next sailing, and if there are no other issues with weight, etc., then the driver is given a “green light” from a light stack, the gate automatically lifts up and the truck can proceed into the marshalling yard. If instead there is some issue or problem with the truck, a red light is given and the truck is shunted away from the marshalling area.
The system effectively allows trucks to enter the ferry terminal and then enter the marshalling yard without having to stop, thus keeping the queue moving, and (in the case of the Wellington terminal) keeping the queue of trucks from backing up and spilling out onto State Highway 1. Even more importantly, the RFID system securely controls who gets access to the marshalling area, thus keeping unwelcome, unauthorised vehicles out.

Pocket Solutions worked with Interislander on the initial pilot system, where the Alien tag reader and antennas were set up temporarily to test for the desired antenna placement and typical read distances that could be expected. Subsequently, once the pilot was deemed a success by Interislander, Pocket Solutions supplied the RFID readers and antennas, and windscreen RFID tags.

Pocket Solutions provided RFID equipment and a wealth of expertise to Interislander’s award-winning FastTrack system. The RFID recognition of freight vehicles was integrated into our core processing systems, delivering significant process improvement and resulting in an increased freight throughput capacity at our ferry terminals. Pocket Solutions have been great to deal with and displayed a high degree of customer focus and flexibility, which enabled us to deliver the solution on-time and on-budget.”

Ivan ZvegintsevIS Service Delivery Manager , Interislander & Rail Passenger Group

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