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PierPass Makes TruckTag Mandate

An organization comprised of Southern California marine terminal operators says trucks using the ports must carry RFID tags by Dec. 1.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
If a truck is assigned a new driver, or if other changes need to be made to the registry, the trucking company must ensure that eModal receives the updated information. In addition, if a vehicle loses its tag, the trucking company must request a new tag. It must also attach the TruckTag near the side-view mirror on the driver's side of the vehicle , following specific mounting instructions provided by WhereNet.

When a tagged truck approaches an RFID-enabled security gate, the WhereNet reader informs the guard stationed inside the gate if the truck has a valid TruckTag. The guard then compares the number on the driver's license—which must be handed to the guard—with data pulled from the eModal database, and also makes a visual inspection to make sure the license photo matches and driver.

At some marine terminals, Wargo notes, the driver inserts the license into a magnetic-stripe reader rather than handing it to a guard. The reader pulls the license number and photo from a database, displaying them on the guard's screen. If the number encoded to the license's magnetic stripe does not match that saved to the eModal database, a monitor inside the guard station displays an error alert. Any time a driver's license information does not match the data in the eModal database, that truck is sent into a special lane for exception handling.

In the future, Wargo says, drivers will eventually carry Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards, which are being developed by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for marine workers (any personnel who must enter secure areas at marine ports, facilities located on the outer continental shelf or vessels regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act) and merchant marines working for the U.S. Coast Guard. The TWIC card will contain an RFID inlay for remote reading, as well as biometric data and an ID number. Once this credential is distributed widely to those driving into the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, PierPass will begin using the card to authenticate drivers and perform driver-truck match-up.

"We want to mash up these two technologies [TWIC card and TruckTag]," Wargo says. The TSA says its expects to soon begin accepting applications for the credentials. An estimated 750,000 individuals will require TWICs, providing a means for identifying maritime workers.

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