Virginia Port Authority and GE Security Team for Container Security Program

July 26, 2006
Pilot project creates secure cargo corridor using GE CommerceGuard technology

NORFOLK, Va. - The Virginia Port today announced that they have joined with GE's Security business (NYSE:GE) to install fixed readers at the The Port of Virginia's, Norfolk International Terminals and Portsmouth Marine Terminal to communicate with Container Security Devices (CSDs) mounted in ocean-going cargo containers as they pass through the terminal.

This step will make The Port of Virginia the first U.S. port in a worldwide Secure Cargo Corridors network, which is being built-up by CommerceGuard, a joint venture of Siemens, GE and Mitsubishi. The Secure Cargo Corridors network will provide the infrastructure to verify unauthorized opening of containers with a high degree of accuracy and reliability.

"This is important technology that will not only help improve the security of containers, but also provide more complete information about a container's contents and transportation history," said J. Robert Bray, VPA Executive Director. "We expect many of the companies that use our terminals, as well as the government authorities who work closely with us here, to benefit greatly from this new capability."

The CommerceGuard System not only alerts as to whether or not the container has been opened, but also stores and communicates valuable information about which ports the container has traveled through, who initially stuffed the container and where it was stuffed.

"With CommerceGuard proving its reliability in multiple independent tests, it is now time to implement this important program," said Louis Parker, president & CEO of GE Security. "GE is very pleased that the Virginia Port Authority has agreed to be the first port in the U.S. to partner with us."

CommerceGuard is the first internally-mounted CSD to achieve the high reliability standards demanded in the international shipping industry. In March, Starbucks became the first company to begin operational use of CommerceGuard CSDs on their shipments of green coffee beans from Guatemala to the U.S. and Europe. Siemens, a CommerceGuard partner, also recently announced it has reached an agreement to install the first CommerceGuard readers in the Port of Antwerp, opening the first secure cargo corridor between Europe and the U.S.

The infrastructure installed at The Port of Virginia will read the status of the CSDs installed and armed inside a container as it passes through the port, and instantly communicate that information to the importer and other authorized individuals who have a need to know.

VPA will have a display of the CommerceGuard at Norfolk International Terminals on Wednesday, July 26 between 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Please call the above numbers for specific location information and to set up a demonstration time.

The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, reporting to the state Secretary of Transportation. The VPA owns and operates four general cargo facilities on behalf of the state: Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County. The terminals are operated by Virginia International Terminals, Inc. (VIT) the non-stock, non-profit operating affiliate of the VPA. The VPA, through terminal revenues generated by VIT, is completely self-funded on the operational side.

The CommerceGuard solution features a Container Security Device (CSD) that magnetically adheres to the inside of an international cargo container and registers any opening of the container door. Fixed and handheld readers record its status in a database that can be accessed by authorized importers, shippers and government officials anywhere in the world.