Senate Commerce Committee to hold TWIC hearing

The Senate Commerce Committee announced today that it will hold a hearing on Tuesday, May 10 to review the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The hearing is entitled "Are our Nation's Ports Secure? Examining the Transportation Worker Identification Credential Program."

By ·

The Senate Commerce Committee announced today that it will hold a hearing on Tuesday, May 10 to review the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program.

The hearing is entitled “Are our Nation’s Ports Secure? Examining the Transportation Worker Identification Credential Program.”

TWIC is a biometric-based ID to be used by port workers to ensure that individuals who pose a security threat do not gain access to U.S. ports. Mandated by Congress in the 2002 Maritime Transportation Security Act in the months following 9/11, TWIC was designed to check backgrounds of as many as 725,000 airport workers, truck drivers, merchant seafarers and others needing unescorted access to transportation facilities like ships, ports, and runways.

But since that time it has run into myriad obstacles, including the cost of obtaining a TWIC card, which is $132.50, as well as the potential for TWIC to increase the costs of doing business for shippers and carriers alike. Another challenge TWIC has experienced over the years is making sure the card conforms to federal guidelines for secure identification cards and the testing of the card to make sure that it works with other Homeland Security Department screening programs.

TSA began issuing TWIC cards in October 2007. The TWIC program is expected to cover approximately 1.2 million port workers who require unescorted access to ports, ships, and offshore platforms that are currently regulated by the Maritime Transportation Act of 2002.

2008, Ed Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Division of the AFL-CIO, blasted the program, calling it a “glorified flash pass.”

And in mid-April, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica held a hearing on Biometrics for Pilot Licenses and Transportation Worker Credentials. At that hearing it was noted that
there are still no approved readers in use to verify the TWIC’s biometric identifiers, while TSA is still conducting the pilot program for the reader technology. 

“Without any readers, TWIC is about as useful as a library card,” Mica said.

TSA has spent $420 million on the TWIC program, according to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and has estimated that up to $3.2 billion may be spent by the federal government and the private sector over a ten year period, not including the cost of deploying readers.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
2017 Top 50 3PLs: Investment and Consolidation Maintain Traction
The trend set over the past few years for mergers and acquisitions has hardly subsided, and a fresh injection of equity investment is transforming the marketplace. At the same time, shippers may expect to see 3PLs continue to purchase high-tech “solutions” and hire young professionals for implementation.
Download Today!
From the August 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service excellence finish line ahead of their competitors? Our readers have cast their votes, and now it’s time to introduce this year’s winners of the coveted Quest for Quality Awards.
BMW Takes the Inland Road to Efficiency
Global Logistics: No Shortcuts to Security
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Getting the most out of your 3PL relationship
Join Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates, as he explains how creating a balanced portfolio of "Top 50" global and domestic partners can maximize efficiency and mitigate risk.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...
2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...

LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...
ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...