Puget Sound ports receive security funding

The Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last week announced grant funding for two major port security initiatives — Round II of the TSA Port Security Grant Program and Operation Safe Commerce (OSC).

The Ports of Everett, Seattle and Tacoma will receive a combined $5.89 million in TSA Port Security Grant Program funding. In addition, the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma will share $13.3 million in OSC funding.

“Port security and the security of our supply chain are essential to our nation’s economy and to the safety of its citizens,” said Timothy J. Farrell, Port of Tacoma deputy executive director. “As the economic borders of the country, our ports applaud the federal government for stepping up and providing this funding. We are particularly appreciative of Senator Patty Murray’s leadership in the Senate and the Senate Appropriations Committee.”

“Our success in securing this funding is the result of tremendous cooperative efforts between the three major ports of Puget Sound and the teamwork of the state’s congressional delegation, led by Sen. Patty Murray,” said Charlie Sheldon, managing director of the Port of Seattle’s Seaport Division. “The fact that we received nearly half of the OSC money is a recognition of the national economic value of our ports and of the leadership we’ve shown on the OSC initiative.”

TSA Port Security Grant Program Funding
The Ports of Everett, Seattle and Tacoma received a combined $5.89 million of $190 million awarded nationally to 199 state and local government agencies, ports and private companies. Port Security Grant applications were submitted in March 2003. TSA, the United States Coast Guard and the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) evaluated the applications and selected grant award recipients. At the three Pacific Northwest ports, the grants will fund the following projects:

* Port of Everett – Access Control Gates
* Port of Everett – Perimeter Security Enhancements
* Port of Seattle – Perimeter Security Enhancements
* Port of Seattle – Port Area Lighting Improvements
* Port of Seattle – Securing Passenger Terminals
* Port of Seattle – Piers 30 & 66 Perimeter Security
* Port of Tacoma – Perimeter Security Enhancements
* Port of Tacoma – Lighting and Warning Sign Improvements

In July 2002, the three Pacific Northwest ports received a combined $4.76 million of $92 million awarded nationally in Round I of the TSA Port Security Grant Program. The majority of the funds were used for threat vulnerability assessments. These were completed in February 2003.

Operation Safe Commerce Funding
Operation Safe Commerce is a federally funded program, designed to bring together shippers, such as Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, J Jill, etc., together with carriers, ports, local, state and federal representatives to analyze current security procedures for containers entering the country. The program’s objective is to create knowledge about the processes, practices and technologies that enhance supply chain security — without compromising efficiency.

The nation’s three major container load centers – Tacoma/Seattle, New York/New Jersey and Los Angeles/Long Beach – each oversaw the development of OSC “teams,” which presented formal proposals to each load center.The load centers, in turn, submitted selected proposals to the TSA for approval in March 2003.

Of the 12 proposals submitted by the Port of Seattle/Port of Tacoma, five supply chain tests will receive funding. Those tests include:

* A major clothing retailer shipping goods from Hong Kong to the Boston area via the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma;

* A Canadian tire and automotive goods retailer shipping items from Bangkok to British Columbia via Ports of Seattle and Tacoma;

* A major automotive manufacturer shipping auto parts from Nagoya, Japan to Chicago via Ports of Seattle and Tacoma;

* A major electronics distribution firm shipping product from interior China through the Port of Hong Kong to Texas via Ports of Seattle and Tacoma; and

* A major consumer goods retailer shipping product from Malaysia to California via the Port of Tacoma.

Pinkerton Consulting Group was selected as the project manager by both ports for Operation Safe Commerce. It is estimated that OSC supply chain tests and evaluations will be completed by July 2004.