DOT REPORTS SUCCESSFUL ITS PROGRAM TEST
U.S. Transportation Department Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said the DOT has successfully completed a test of its Intelligent Transportation System program, which aims to secure cargo containers transiting U.S. ports and border crossings.
The ITS program uses electronic seals, a radio frequency device that transmits shipment information as it passes reader devices and indicates if a container has been compromised.
The electronic seals, or E-Seals, test involved cargo containers carrying in-bond shipments of auto parts destined for a Canadian assembly plant. The containers, which originated in Nagano, Japan, were shipped through the Port of Seattle, and cleared by U.S. and Canadian customs at the international border crossing in Blaine, Wash.
The 2-year-old ITS program is designed to track commercial in-bond container shipments from their point of inspection at seaports, along trade corridors, to their point of clearance at U.S. land border crossings. At check points and border crossings, electronic door seals enable regulatory agencies to determine whether the container has been tampered with.
The E-seal technology can also facility border clearance activities and commercial vehicle enforcement and benefit carriers through improved accuracy of manifest information, reduced paperwork, improved port and Customs clearance and the ability to track shipments, the DOT said.
'E-seals are just one part of our department's security-focused program that applies both technology and human capital to safeguard America's transportation system,' Mineta said.
Agencies and firms participating in the E-Seal project are Customs, the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Washington State Trucking Association, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Westwood Shipping, Maersk Sealand and American President Lines.