The Port of Felixstowe is celebrating the 1,000th card to be issued for its RHIDES (Road Haulier Identity System) initiative. The Port introduced RHIDES in November 2005, and is the first port in the UK to issue identity cards for hauliers.
The Port has been trialling RHIDES with a number of hauliers over the last six months. Over 2,000 drivers have already been registered on the system, and the RHIDES cards are set to be a mandatory requirement for drivers arriving at the Port of Felixstowe by the end of the year.
The Port commemorated the issuing of the 1,000th RHIDES card to driver Daniel Slade of King’s Haulage, Northampton by presenting him with a ¢G50 Marks and Spencer’s voucher.
Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited (HPUK), which owns the Port of Felixstowe, said:
“We are pleased with the positive response that we have received from hauliers towards the introduction of identity cards for their drivers using the Port of Felixstowe. It is important that the Port looks at innovative ways of improving its security to key areas such as the terminals, and the RHIDES initiative is a major step forwards in helping to ensure that the Port is as safe and secure as possible.”
As a requirement of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, the Port has introduced a series of measures to enhance security and tighten access controls, particularly to the terminals. As hauliers represent the largest group of visitors, making up some 4,000 movements in and out each day, the Port decided upon biometric identity cards as a means of recording their comings and goings. The cards will not increase the time taken to process hauliers arriving at the Port’s terminals. Importantly, there is no charge to hauliers for registering their drivers for RHIDES cards.
HPUK 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.
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 driver’s name and some biometric data, in this case a hand-scan, as a means of identification.
Upon arrival at the Port, the driver 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.
Hauliers are being requested to register their drivers for RHIDES cards by visiting the Port’s dedicated website at www.rhides.com.