SIMOCRANE Container Number Recognition System (CNRS)

Siemens Container Recognition System

Fast and efficient container recognition automates previously manual labor that was prone to error

The number of containers entering and leaving any port terminal during peak hours can be extraordinary. Containers are manually inspected and verified by humans, which can be prone to error and prove as a bottle neck. In order to improve efficiency and throughput, an automated system to detect container numbers in real-time is required.

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CNRS at a glance

Automatic recognition of container numbers

The Container Number Recognition System (CNRS) automatically recognizes container numbers which are located on the container roof and side walls with a set of cameras. Images taken by the camera are being evaluated by an optical character recognition (OCR) software. CNRS can be used on cranes terminals for supervision purposes, as assistance system for the crane driver and for the remote control of automated stacking cranes (ASC/RMG/RTG).

Flexible, automated recognition system

The CNRS application uses cameras at the spreader. The application is triggered to take a snapshot from the desired location with the associated cameras. The application recognizes the container number in the picture(s) and sends the result as character value to the crane control (PLC).


The system can read up to four images per container (from different sides, angles or cameras). Out of these different images the recognized container numbers (different possibilities) are combined and compared to the number given via the automation system. 


The CNRS can detect container numbers on ISO containers at several locations (roof and side walls), with different fonts sizes, colors, and directions and orientations. 

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