Since the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Card became mandatory at the Port of Tacoma on Feb. 28, 2009, terminals and the Port-operated facilities report a smooth implementation.

"Tacoma's smooth TWIC implementation has illustrated the supportive working relationships among our customers, Port staff, our business partners, labor and the local trucking community," said Port of Tacoma Executive Director Timothy J. Farrell. "All parties worked hard in advance of the announcement to ensure that productivity on the docks would not be impacted."

Following the initial TWIC registration effort in November 2007, the Port of Tacoma and its terminal operator customers began a comprehensive outreach program to vendors, labor, transportation providers and Port staff to raise awareness of the new requirement. Port staff, for example, met with companies and worker groups, distributed fliers to truckers and vendors, set up electronic road signage, detailed new requirements on the Port website, and much more.

"For everyone who works on the waterfront or serves the businesses here, TWIC has changed the working landscape," noted Hank Bynaker, Facility Security Officer for Washington United Terminals, the home of Hyundai Merchant Marine and Mitsui O.S.K. Line (MOL) in Tacoma. "From the Port of Tacoma to our vendors, we are very pleased by how smoothly TWIC implementation has progressed."

As of April 3, 2009, total TWIC enrollments in the Tacoma area numbered 12,170 with 10,193 activations. And 100 percent of Port of Tacoma staff has received their TWIC card. The Port and terminal operators are now focused on helping remaining uncredentialed workers get their TWIC and establishing firm escort policies at each terminal.

Farrell credits much of the success to the U.S. Coast Guard, which has "worked hard to understand the unique working conditions at marine terminals and provide guidance to our facility security officers," he said. "The bottom line is that, by qualifying who can access secure areas of the Port, TWIC helps ensure the safety of personnel, cargo, Port facilities and our community."

Port Media Relations: Mike Wasem, 253-383-9436