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Taiwan Customs Officials Adopt RFID-enabled Container Seals
Officials at Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan's busiest port, have introduced the seals with EPC Gen 2 chips to improve security and reduce the need for officers to escort cargo containers.
Some 40 Speedway readers were then installed at checkpoints along 20 lanes used for transporting containers. Customs has also purchased 40,000 e-seals, as well as handheld interrogators.
When a transit container is chosen for e-sealing, a notification is sent to the carrier, and an e-seal is used to lock the container at the carrier's yard. A handheld reader is utilized to interrogate the RFID chip's ID number, which is transferred to a secure database, and the information is synchronized with the driver's ID, as well as those of the container and truck, which are printed on the vehicle and container.
"When a truck passes through a checkpoint, an Impinj Speedway reader will read the e-seal on the moving truck," Tai says. "At the same time, the truck driver's ID will be detected through the driver ID system, and an optical character recognition system will pick up the container ID and truck ID. If either does not match, an alarm will be sent out to the harbor police for a physical inspection. When the truck arrives at its destination, a handheld reader will again be used to read the e-seal ID, in order to delete it from the database."
The system was officially rolled out on Feb. 20. According to Tai, the system has an accuracy rate of 97.42 percent at a distance of more than 7 meters (23 feet). That, she says, should result in an annual reduction of 6,000 man-hours for escorts, through the elimination of 10,000 escorts by Customs officers.
The rollout, Wang says, has been a success. "The system is highly reliable and can accurately identify signals no matter how fast the vehicle is traveling, how sharp the curve in the road is, or if the vehicle changes lane," he states. "In addition to the benefits from the reduction of staff time and costs, and improved efficiency, this system is a world first, and helps to improve our competitiveness and image around the world."
The Kaohsiung Customs Office is now working with Yeon Technologies to expand the system to other harbors around the country. Additionally, the agency plans to roll it out at Taichung, Taipei and Keelung Customs in early 2010.
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