The pick for TWIC

Patrick Hemphill helped oversee the Port of Wilmington's Transportation Worker Identification Credential implementation


Nearly 3,500 people have been enrolled into the port's system so far out of the 11,000 people who have sought a TWIC card for Port of Wilmington. The majority of those requiring a TWIC card will not be at the port until January, which is the beginning of the fruit season, Hemphill says.

Codebench first came to the attention of Port of Wilmington's Director of Human Resources, Sylvia Floyd-Kennard during an American Association of Port Authorities conference. After seeing a demo by Codebench of its PIVCheck Plus software, and its ability to read TWIC card information, Floyd-Kennard recognized it as a possible solution that could be integrated with the port's existing access control system.

Eric Schaeffer from Advantech Inc., the port's systems integrator on the TWIC project, says one of the deciding factors in using Codebench was the ability to test the software in-house before making a commitment. He wanted to ensure that Codebench would integrate with the existing Pro-Watch system. "Some companies have reservations about testing before buying," Schaeffer says, "but (Codebench) was comfortable with us testing it."

Because this was one of the first implementations of Codebench's PIVCheck Plus software integrated with the Honeywell Pro-Watch system, Schaeffer says Codebench worked alongside Advantech to make sure everything worked as planned.

The Benefits

For a major facility such as the Port of Wilmington - which handles nearly 400 vessels and 4 million tons of cargo each year - being able to enroll TWIC holders and verify their information anywhere using a mobile card reader results in a savings of security personnel time and effort. Personnel can go where the enrollees are, rather than requiring everyone to come to a central location.

The port is also able to continue to leverage its legacy physical access control system while adding in the important TWIC component. The PIVCheck Plus software enables the port to register TWIC information - such as the TWIC FASC-N number and expiration date - into the existing PACS cardholder record, explains Codebench CEO Geri Castaldo. If a new person is added, the system automatically creates a brand new cardholder record using the information from the TWIC such as first name, last name, FASC-N, expiration date and photo, Castaldo adds.

Checking against the TSA "hot list" is a key benefit with the addition of Codebench's Certificate Manager software. Although not currently a requirement for TWIC compliance, port officials say that automatically verifying the user against the TSA list will likely be one soon, and many facilities that need to comply with TWIC are being proactive and checking the TSA hot list today. The PIVCheck Certificate Manager goes out to the TSA list, explains Castaldo, and re-validates the TWIC card status daily or on a user-defined schedule, so security personnel can see what has changed and react to the status of cardholders.

"Honeywell is excited to have collaborated with Codebench to ensure the successful integration of the Port of Wilmington's TWIC solution with our Pro-Watch security management platform," says Jeremy Howard, Global Accounts, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Honeywell Integrated Security.

In the case of an elevated threat level, Codebench's software is able to provide the additional authentication piece that would be required, explains Advantech's Schaeffer. If the threat level at the port is raised under the three-level MARSEC system, the use of fixed readers with a biometric component would likely become a requirement.