Thousands of workers in the Port of Charleston now must show a new mandatory federal identification card at the terminal gates, and so far the implementation process is going smoothly.
As of Dec. 1, federal law requires that all truck drivers, port employees, longshoremen and others working on the South Carolina State Ports Authority’s (SCSPA) facilities have a Transportation Worker Identification Credential, or TWIC. Only a small percentage of workers have shown up without the new mandatory ID card.
‘Cargo is flowing smoothly and there were no major issues with implementation,’ said Bernard Groseclose, president and CEO of the SCSPA. ‘The trucking community, the private maritime sector and labor all contributed to a successful launch of TWIC in Charleston.’
The SCSPA worked collaboratively with US Coast Guard-Sector Charleston to actively promote the new program and educate the maritime community through speaking engagements, media attention, signage at the gates and direct mail and e-mail.
According to the latest data from the US Department of Homeland Security, 8,192 workers have enrolled in Charleston, and 5,373 cards have been activated. Over the past five months, enrollment among local truck drivers nearly quadrupled, from 841 in mid-July to 3,129 in mid-November.
The Charleston TWIC enrollment center opened more than a year ago.‘The temporary location is at the Residence Inn, 5035 International Blvd. in North Charleston.
The TWIC is required by federal law and will serve as an identification card for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of regulated marine terminals. The fingerprint-based ID card costs $132.50 and is valid for five years.‘To obtain a TWIC, applicants must successfully pass a security threat assessment conducted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
In July, the US Coast Guard announced an implementation deadline of December 1 for the Port of Charleston.‘Today, the Coast Guard began enforcement of the TWIC for certain port facilities in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.