The Port of San Diego became the first California port and the first West Coast port to implement a program that will prohibit unescorted access to its marine terminals. One needing access to the terminals must now hold a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). The Port began requiring this on December 30.
The TWIC is an identification card that must be shown to security personnel before being admitted to the Port's Tenth Avenue and National City Marine Terminals and the cruise ship terminal. To obtain the cards, Port workers and others who require regular access to the terminals must pass a background check. The card, which includes a picture, features a method for recognizing a person's fingerprint. Employees, visitors, contractors, vendors, truckers, delivery drivers and those who need temporary access to the Port, but do not hold a TWIC card, will be escorted onto the terminals. About 300 Port employees were issued TWIC cards.
"The TWIC program is progressing smoothly at the Port of San Diego," said Charles Wurster, President and CEO of the Port. "Our initial success can be attributed to the coordinated communication between port tenants, customers and the Maritime team in general."
The TWIC program is congressionally mandated and evolved from the Maritime Transportation Security Act and the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to strengthen port security after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The program began in 2007 with the Port of Wilmington, Delaware the first to enroll. Since than, 700,000 port employees throughout the nation have received TWIC cards.