November 14, 2007 11:41 ET

Port of Savannah Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Port Security Credential

Port Among First to Enroll Its Workers as Part of National Program

SAVANNAH, GA--(Marketwire - November 14, 2007) - Tomorrow, port workers, longshoremen, truckers and others at the Port of Savannah will become some of the first in the nation to enroll in the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The program's goal is to ensure that any individual who has unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels has received a thorough background check and is not a security threat.

Approximately 23,000 workers from the port region are expected to enroll. Nationwide, more than 1 million workers with unescorted access to secure areas will apply during the rest of 2007 and 2008.

"The start of enrollment is one more step in our effort to prevent persons who are a threat from gaining access to secure areas of port facilities," said Maurine Fanguy, TWIC program director for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). "We appreciate the support of our partners at the Port of Savannah for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."

Savannah is among the first 12 ports to begin enrollment in the nationwide program. Ultimately, TSA will establish fixed enrollment centers at 147 ports and will deploy mobile enrollment centers to dozens of other locations as needed.

"A tremendous amount of planning and work has been done collectively by TSA, the Coast Guard, port owners/operators, employee groups and other stakeholders in preparation for this critical phase of the TWIC program," said Coast Guard Commander David Murk. "The Coast Guard is committed to working closely with TSA and our local industry partners during the enrollment and compliance phases of the TWIC program to assure a successful transition with minimal disruption to port operations."

Workers at the Port of Savannah are able to pre-enroll for TWIC online at or the Coast Guard's Homeport site, Pre-enrolling speeds up the process by allowing workers to provide biographic information and schedule a time to complete the application process in person. This eliminates waiting at enrollment centers and reduces the time it takes to enroll each individual.

The Port of Savannah is located on the Savannah River and is an integral part of the Georgia maritime industry and overall economy. The port imports and exports a variety of dry bulk, chemical and petroleum cargoes and is also one of largest handlers of containerized cargo in the nation.