Shipping Container Counting Approach Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and ArcGIS

  • Afiq Abdullah
  • Jasmee Jaafar
  • Khairul Nizam Tahar
  • Mohamad Hezri Razali


In Malaysia, the existing of counting approach on the shipping container at depot is carried out by manual based system. This has made the efficiency of the method to be questioned which can be solved through automation. Under previous studies, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is demonstrated for automatic counting of cars and trees. Therefore, the possibility for shipping container counting is highly required in which promotes low-cost alternative and automatedpilot for data collection. Based on this study, the aerial images captured using UAV is combined with geographical information processing software, ArcGIS, towards automated approach for container counting. The overlapping aerial images are post-processed using photogrammetric technique to produce Digital Surface Model (DSM) that represents the ground and above surface feature’s elevations. Then, the constructed DSM is filtered to develop Digital Terrain Model (DTM) where it represents the ground surface’s elevation only. Then, container’s candidates are isolated using subtraction of the DTM from DSM to generate normalized DSM (nDSM) which represents the heights of container’s stacks. From the standard size and height of one container from ISO, the number of containers is extracted. The ModelBuilder tool available in ArcGIS is customized for automated geographical information processing. From results, the proposed approach contributed to 100% of counting accuracy.

Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Counting, Shipping Container, ArcGIS, ModelBuilder

How to Cite
ABDULLAH, Afiq et al. Shipping Container Counting Approach Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and ArcGIS. Built Environment Journal, [S.l.], v. 16, n. 2, p. 15-26, july 2019. ISSN 2637-0395. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 17 apr. 2024. doi: