Baltimore port to deploy secure check-in system for trucks
The Port of Baltimore will become the first East Coast port to use eModal’s Trucker Check software to help verify authorized trucks and their drivers authorized to enter the port.
The Maryland Port Authority (MPA) said it will begin compiling truck company and driver information in its database today, complete registration by March 15 and begin checking inbound trucks on April 1.
The port will initially install the security system at the Seagirt Marine Terminal, which is served by about 400 trucking companies, and plans to install it later this year at its Dundalk Marine Terminal.
Truckers can register online at http://www.emodal.com.
eModal is a port community portal that allows container terminals to communicate with shippers, truckers and railroads through a single window to increase efficiency and reduce congestion. eModal software allows companies to check if their containers are ready and schedule appointments for pick up, pay terminal fees online, and issue electronic delivery orders.
Trucker Check is already in use on the West Coast.
PierPass, the consortium of terminals operating the extended hours truck gate program in the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach, announced in January that it planned to implement Trucker Check to improve truck flow and security.
MPA officials declined to explain whether technology would be used to electronically interface with the truck, but PierPass is relying on a radio frequency identification system to automatically match the truck with terminal databases. PierPass is distributing free of charge the first 10,000 RFID tags to truckers that will serve as electronic license plates when they come in range of readers at the gate. The tags are the same type used for electronic tolling on freeways. The truck driver will insert his driver's license into a machine that will verify that the driver is authorized by the trucking company to do business at the port. The process replaces the manual process of showing the ID to a security guard or clerk at the gate.
MPA spokesman Richard Scher said implementation of the system is expected to go smoothly because motor truck associations in the state support the new program.
Under maritime security laws since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Coast Guard is requiring ports to control access to their facilities and RFID technology is one option being used by some ports.