The Port of Felixstowe is set to enhance further security at its terminals with the introduction of identity cards for the thousands of hauliers that use it each day. The new initiative will be known as RHIDES, for Road Haulier Identity System. The system will initially be tested with a group of volunteers in January 2006, with full implementation following later in the year.
Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited (HPUK), owner of the Port of Felixstowe, has had extensive discussions with representatives from shipping lines, haulage companies, the Road Haulage Association, Felixstowe Port Users’ Association, and Freight Transport Association, on how best to approach the initiative, from initial rollout to its long-term management. The project has the support of TRANSEC, the Department for Transport’s security division, who were fully consulted during its development.
The card will be the first of its type in the UK. HPUK has also been in contact with other ports to gauge their interest in introducing a UK-wide haulier identity card.
Chris Lewis, Chief Operating Officer of the Port of Felixstowe, said:
“As part of the requirements of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, we have been introducing a series of measures at the Port of Felixstowe to enhance security and tighten access controls, particularly to the terminals. As hauliers represent the largest group of visitors to the Port, making up to some 4,000 movements in and out each day, it is essential that we look at ways of recording their comings and goings, without adding to the time taken to process them through the gates.
“The introduction of an ID card is a logical solution to this, and has been running successfully at the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp for some time now. There will be no extra charge to the haulier, and we are sure that everyone will welcome our efforts to ensure that the Port of Felixstowe is as safe and secure as possible.”
Whilst the Port of Felixstowe already has an excellent record in combating container crime, the introduction of a haulier identity card is expected to provide a significant deterrent to container theft. In the longer term, the card could be used as a more secure method of releasing import containers to authorised drivers.
HPUK has decided upon the use of “Chip” card technology for RHIDES, which will store the haulier’s name and some biometric data, in this case a hand-scan, as a means of identification.
Upon arrival at the Port, the haulier places the card into a reader and his/her hand on a biometric scanner. If a valid card is presented, the Port’s gate system records the number against the container and allows the driver to enter the ‘Restricted Area’ of the terminal.
Leaflets detailing the requirements of the new cards have been sent to over a thousand hauliers nationwide. Hauliers will be able to register their interest in obtaining cards by visiting www.rhides.com.