PierPASS to use active RFID to secure trucks at California seaports

Published 13 January 2006

Trucks entering two of California’s — and the nation’s — largest ports to be equipped with active RFIDs for added protection

Long Beach, California-based PierPASS has launched its TruckTag program, aiming to bolster security in marine terminals at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by improving the process of checking trucks and drivers entering the terminals. PierPASS will distribute RFID electronic tags to be installed on trucks, similar to the FasTrak and E-ZPass devices used for automated toll collection. DHS now requires marine terminals and the Coast Guard to provide security by ensuring that only those with proper business at the ports will be permitted inside.

TruckTag is the second program created by PierPASS, a not-for-profit company created by marine terminal operators in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In July 2005 PierPASS launched the OffPeak program, aiming to reduce congestion in and around the ports by establishing new night and Saturday shifts at the ports. By December, more than one million truck trips had been diverted out of daytime traffic, leading to a noticeable reduction in congestion.

Under the TruckTag program, PierPASS will distribute 10,000 RFID tags to trucking companies, and the trucking companies will be responsible for distributing the tags to their drivers. When a truck arrives at a terminal, the RFID tag will automatically be read by an electronic reader posted at the gate. Simultaneously, the truck driver will insert his commercial driver’s license into a machine which will verify that the driver and truck have authorized business at the terminal.

The marine terminal operators will cover the $1.2 million estimated cost of the program, which is expected to begin by March. There will be no cost to truck drivers or trucking companies for the first 10,000 tags. The active RFID tags, provided by Santa Clara, California-based WhereNet, will be distributed through Irvine, California-based eModal, a database company which tracks trucking companies and drivers. Ninety-nine percent of the trucking companies and drivers working in the ports are already registered with eModal.

-read more at PierPASS Web site; see eModal Web site for information and truck registration; see WhereNet Web site