November 2, 2022
When Mainfreight was looking for a solution to track and monitor freight more precisely, Watchu Security had the technology and industry expertise to ensure New Zealand’s leading freight company could protect its most valuable assets.
32 sites monitored, 400 + access control doors installed and 1100 + IP security cameras in operation – Mainfreight takes the security of its team and its freight seriously. So too, does Mainfreight’s security provider, Watchu Security.
Established in 2007, Watchu Security is a leading security systems integrator, delivering end-to-end security and surveillance solutions for companies nationwide. As Mainfreight’s security installation specialists, Watchu Security provides the global freight company with a portfolio of security services for its New Zealand operations, including 24/7 motion-activated security coverage, access control management system, and environmental monitoring, all in a centrally managed corporate level security solution.
In 2008, Mainfreight was looking for security installation specialists who could provide the level of security, and quality of data the company needed across their sites nationwide. Watchu Security had not long established themselves as New Zealand’s only total security solution provider, where all services are delivered in-house – a welcome change from security operators with multiple contractors.
What Watchu Security directors, Justin Fisher and Adrian Holmes, were offering was advanced IP based CCTV and Access Control technology, custom-manufactured designs, bespoke security plans, and reliable after sales service and warranty. Mainfreight wanted it all.
Mainfreight is one of New Zealand’s busiest logistics and transport operators and every item of freight that gets loaded, unloaded and transported to its destination needs to be accounted for. Being able to track and monitor the quality of freight, and having the ability to identify any damage that may occur, was vital.
Mainfreight’s security consisted of stand alone analogue camera systems, which were hard to use and produced poor image quality. “When we came onboard, Mainfreight was using a less technology-savvy access control and camera system platform,” recalls Justin. “We could immediately see Mainfreight would be better off having IP (Internet Protocol) cameras fitted to each site.
“IP cameras were very new at the time and few businesses had them, but Mainfreight is an innovative company and immediately saw the value of what we were proposing,” Justin says. “With our Milestone Systems VMS (video management system) and Vivotek high definition IP cameras installed in a transport depot for example, Mainfreight is able to get a clear, functional view of all activity across the building in an easy to use format, ensuring the protection of client freight, and the Mainfreight team.”
Security of their building alarms and access is controlled and monitored through the Gallagher centrally managed access control system. “Gallagher is globally renowned for their advanced access control system, which uses technology that puts them as leaders in their field,” explains Justin. “Given Mainfreight’s forward thinking approach to security we proposed the Gallagher system and it’s been an incredibly effective outcome.”
The systems, which incorporates central control of both the Milestone Systems video management and Gallagher Security Systems, allow Mainfreight to view multiple sites around the country at any one time with the same control as if they were there. “It gives Mainfreight a greater overview of their freight movements, it’s easy for them to self monitor and manage, and we support them 24/7 with our in-house team of security experts,” says Justin. “They now have a nationwide network that gives them central management of their security across all sites in New Zealand from their head office in Auckland.”
Mainfreight’s early adoption of IP technology and the installation of IP cameras was just the beginning of what has become a security partnership spanning more than a decade. Watchu Security has since provided Mainfreight with an all-encompassing security solution in each new site the company has developed over the past 10 years and retrofitted security in existing Mainfreight sites too.
“Whenever Mainfreight is looking to develop a new site, we play an integral part in that initial planning stage,” explains Justin. “Mainfreight will send us the plans and we’ll do a full site design that includes camera coverage, access control for team members and visitors, gates and automation (we manufacture all our own gates in-house to control the outcome and provide quality after sales service and warranty), traffic flow, gate intercoms and environmental monitoring systems.”
Edward Creedy, Head of Property at Mainfreight, NZ says Watchu Security’s understanding of Mainfreight’s operations ensures an effective security layout for each site. “Watchu Security can look at the plans we have and provide a recommendation and quote for the security requirements we need very quickly. We value their feedback and input into the security elements of each design as it saves us a lot of time and discussion,” Edward says.
“Sometimes we need additional infrastructure for an existing site, such as more cameras or access control. We can put Watchu Security in touch with our branch managers to get the job done. And, in instances when our branch managers have a particular issue, the Watchu Security team are able to recommend and install a solution.”
Added value security
Watchu Security’s partnership with Mainfreight extends to environmental monitoring. “Mainfreight collects and stores rainwater, which is then used for truck washing and garden irrigation among many other uses. Our systems also monitor truck wash detergent and water levels via the Gallagher system, and provide varying levels of authorisation access to users of those truck washes and other systems,” Justin explains.
“Our automatic truck washes are operated by automatic entry and use a tag on, tag off system,” says Edward. “Watchu Security provides that automatic access control but also gathers data from it. This data enables us to track who is using our washes so we know who to bill.”
With their hand on the pulse of the latest in security technology, Watchu Security continues to manage Mainfreight’s security needs and is able to identify any new developments that could benefit Mainfreight’s operations.
“We’re currently designing a platform for using high definition cameras that have multiple lenses which provide full coverage and extensive ability to zoom. Camera technology is changing so it’s exciting to have a company, like Mainfreight, which sees the value in investing in the latest technology for the safety and security of its customers and team,” says Justin.
What started out as a brief to enhance internal security in Mainfreight terminals 10 years ago, has developed into a rewarding partnership between the two companies.
“The focus for Mainfreight has always been on the customer freight and looking after their team’s safety,” says Justin. “When freight comes in, Mainfreight needs to ensure it is immaculate and, when freight goes out, it needs to be in that same immaculate condition. Our security cameras allow for that and the proactive maintenance plan, which includes IQP testing of all Mainfreight access control doors, ensures everything stays at the security level Mainfreight needs it to be.”
Edward values the security advice and service he receives from Justin and the Watchu Security team. “Watchu Security is great to deal with and, what is particularly valuable to us, is their nationwide presence. They are willing to go anywhere for us and that’s quite unique in itself. Their teams in Cambridge, Auckland and Christchurch will travel on an as need basis; we don’t have to ask. Not a lot of companies would do that,” says Edward.
For Justin, Mainfreight’s very real approach to protecting themselves, their customers and their team makes the partnership even more rewarding. “We are proud to be Mainfreight’s security provider of choice.”