Truckers in new security drive

ONE thousand lorry drivers have signed up to a new security scheme at Felixstowe port.

ONE thousand lorry drivers have signed up to a new security scheme at Felixstowe port.

The RHIDES (Road Haulier Identity System) initiative to issue identity cards for hauliers was launched by the port a year ago - the first in the UK to do so - and after trials with a number of hauliers, truckers are being registered on the system.

RHIDES cards are set to be a mandatory requirement for drivers arriving at the Port of Felixstowe by the end of the year.

The port marked the issue of the 1,000th RHIDES card to driver Daniel Slade by presenting him with a £50 Marks and Spencer's voucher.

Chris Lewis, chief executive officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited (HPUK), which owns the Port of Felixstowe, said: “We are pleased with the positive response that we have received from hauliers towards the introduction of identity cards for their drivers using the Port of Felixstowe.

“It is important that the port looks at innovative ways of improving its security to key areas such as the terminals, and the RHIDES initiative is a major step forwards in helping to ensure that the Port is as safe and secure as possible.”

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As a requirement of international measures, the port has introduced a series of measures to enhance security and tighten access controls, particularly to the terminals.

As hauliers represent the largest group of visitors - around 4,000 in and out each day - the port decided upon biometric identity cards, which stores the driver's name and a hand-scan, to record their comings and goings.

The cards do not increase the time taken to process hauliers arriving at the terminals.

Upon arrival at the port, the driver places the card into a reader and their hand on a biometric scanner. If a valid card is presented, the port's gate system records the number against the container and allows the driver to enter the restricted area of the terminal.

The introduction of identity cards is expected to provide a significant deterrent to container theft. In the longer term, the card could be used as a more secure method of releasing import containers to authorised drivers.

Hauliers can register their drivers for RHIDES cards by visiting the port's dedicated website www.rhides.com There is no charge to hauliers for registering their drivers.

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