SOURCE: FIDE

July 17, 2008 06:53 ET

Honduras Deep-Water Port Security Scans 100 Percent of Containers Shipped to the U.S.

Puerto Cortes Leads the Way as One of Only Three Ports in the World Checking All Cargo for Nuclear Radiation

TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS--(Marketwire - July 17, 2008) - Puerto Cortes, the largest and deepest port in Central America located on Honduras' Caribbean coast, is the only port in the Western Hemisphere and one of only three in the world currently scanning all inbound and outbound shipments for nuclear substances, offering considerable advantages for foreign investors, the Honduras non-profit private investment promotion agency FIDE said today.

"Puerto Cortes leads the way in port container security," Vilma Sierra, FIDE executive president, said. "Honduras is roughly four years ahead of the U.S. congressionally mandated July 2012 deadline requiring 100 percent of all U.S.-bound containers to be scanned before entry, established by the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE) of 2006."

Puerto Cortes ranks 29th in the world in volume of shipments to the United States and is also a partner in the U.S. Government's Container Security (CSI), Megaports, and Secure Freight (SFI) Initiatives. (See video of Puerto Cortes inspection here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=J3X17bNZ2ns)

Puerto Cortes has adopted a fast and efficient container-scanning system that involves three processes and takes only 48 seconds to completely examine each container. First, a Radiation Portal Monitor (RPM) screens the container for any radiation; then, Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) equipment provides imaging of the container's interior using Gamma-Ray technology. Finally, if radiation is detected, Radiation Isotope Identification Devices (RIIDs) are used to identify the source.

Both U.S. and Honduran customs officials scan each container at the port, while a real-time image is viewed by DHS officers in the United States, accounting for the safety of every shipment. Puerto Cortes' comprehensive scanning program is part a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pilot program conducted by DHS at foreign ports.

"In addition to the business advantages of Puerto Cortes, a new Logistics Corridor, now under construction, will link Puerto Cortes to the Pacific and Puerto Cutuco in El Salvador," Ms. Sierra said. "This dedicated highway channel will complement the movement of freight now shipped mainly through the Panama Canal."

"When it comes to rapid and efficient movement of shipments to the U.S. market, two days away by ship and two hours away by plane, Honduras is leading the way among other Western Hemisphere countries," the FIDE executive said.

EDITORS NOTE:

Please contact us for more information, photographs, and video or to arrange an interview with FIDE or port authorities. Video of Puerto Cortes may be accessed here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=J3X17bNZ2ns.

About the Foundation for Investment and Development of Exports (FIDE):

FIDE is a private, non-profit organization that promotes investment in Honduras and encourages sustainable development by continually improving the international competitiveness of the country and its companies. For more information, please visit http://www.hondurasinfo.hn/.