U.K. Customs Agent Deploys Icom LTE Radio System
Friday, May 03, 2019 | Comments

ChannelPorts, the only private customs clearance agent in the United Kingdom, adopted the Icom Long Term Evolution (LTE) radio system.

The company has a track record of processing more than 3,000 vehicles and consignments a month through the customs clearance in Kent and uses the LTE radio system to coordinate parking and customs clearance. Chatterbox supplied the LTE radio system.

ChannelPorts provides a complete customs clearance service for trucks through the port of Dover and via the Channel Tunnel. There are two main parts to the business. The company is authorized by HMRC to provide a customs clearance service for commercial vehicles coming in and out of the country. They organize the paperwork for custom clearance and pay taxes. The second part of their business is lorry parking. The company has a 200-space lorry park, spread over a 1-square-mile area in three sections.

“We need radio comms here as our business/parking is spread over a 1 square mile area,” Chris Childs of ChannelPorts said. “We have limited space for parking so we need good communications as we have to turn many drivers away, maybe 150 – 200 vehicles a night because we are always full. We must have staff positioned at various points around the site to tell drivers that we either have spaces or not.

“We have always used radio communications. Our previous digital radio system was from another manufacturer and although the quality was good outside because of the type of buildings we have in here and the distance we are covering, it would drop out quite often. We went for the Icom LTE system because of the simplicity of the setup. There were no additional aerials, repeaters to put up. We have a mobile phone mast right outside and once we tested it, it was almost a no brainer.”

Two LTE radios were allocated for the management team so they can communicate directly with each other as well as the whole team. Radios were also allocated to the outside team. There is also a radio allocated in the office, so if there is a problem outside someone can address it.

The radios have a break-in feature that allows management to talk over a conversation if there is something urgent rather than waiting for a channel to be free. There is also lone-worker and man-down panic alarms programmed into the radios.

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