Security Port of Tauranga

November 2006 Access Control & Identity Management

At the front line of the supply chain, ports have a critical role to maintain the ­credibility of their country as secure ­trading partners.

The history

New Zealand's preferred export gateway and fastest-growing import port, Port of Tauranga sees its efficiency in terms of its systems and network as a key indication of success. Activities of the port include the provision of wharf facilities, storage and transit of cargoes, berthage, cranes, tug and pilotage services, leasing of land and buildings, container terminal ownership and rail links to Auckland.

Among its many assets, Port of Tauranga has 2055 m of linear berth face. Immediately adjacent to the wharf are cargo sheds and a 20 000-tonne capacity coldstore. Spread along the wharf are 22 bunker points to allow ships to re-fuel while loading or unloading. A total of more than 90 hectares of backup land is available for cargo handling and storage.

The port also has facilities for discharging and/or loading tankers carrying bulk fluids such as oil products, chemicals and cement. A conveyor system is also used for loading wood-chips. 'Sulphur Point' features 600 m of heavy-duty wharf, three container cranes (two of post-panamax size) and 27 hectares of paved container yard. More than 25 000 m² of covered storage is available for cargo handling and a further 9000-tonne cool-store caters for temperature controlled cargo.

Dedicated road and rail access streamlines cargo movement to and from the terminal. Total land area in and around the terminal is 78 hectares, providing for significant future growth.

Operating under the changing international environment and new maritime security regime, the port undertook a risk assessment and consequently reviewed its control measures. At the frontline of the supply chain, the port looked to employ security technology that would exceed their obligations.

The solution and benefits

For the Port of Tauranga, Cardax FT surpassed alternative systems for access control, intruder alarms and central management and monitoring of site security.

Using fibre-optic cable through the massive site area, the Cardax FT system resides on the port's wide area network, and requires every person to use a card to gain access. "We have 50 companies, some key exporters, operating within our boundary. The port manages the on-site security for those companies, and the system will have some 4000 cardholders," explains Mike Letica, manager Port Security Services. Contractors are also managed with the system.

The port has varying levels of security around the site, with protection of cargo against tampering, sabotage, smuggling of terrorists, or terrorist-related goods being crucial. Identification of individuals on site is key.

Letica says he saw a live demonstration of the PhotoID of a cardholder in India being verified against a live image (from a third party system). Using Cardax FT Challenge, the port has achieved a significant cost saving by reducing the number of manned gates while still achieving the required verification of who is coming and going, as stipulated by the Maritime Security Authority.

Two sets of intercoms, cameras and Cardax readers are installed at every guard house, at heights that will suit car or truck. All truck drivers are required to use access cards. The access cards have printed PhotoID, which is checked by the operator in the main administration building against the live image provided by the camera. Coverage of the gates is 24 hours every day.

"The constant flow of trucks throughout the day is essential, with the public roads - arteries to the city - only metres away. The trucks dropping off containers can not be backed up waiting," says Letica. This needed to be taken on board with the 30 000 vehicle movements occurring in any given month through the gates. He estimates it takes no more than three seconds from the time the driver badges his card, to the time the arm of the gate goes up.

Cards are another consideration for the port environment. With the Universal Card Format tool, the system can facilitate other card formats, a notable practicality for the site and the truck drivers passing through. Letica envisages that one-day truck drivers need only carry one card to access the ports nationwide, Cardax FT would accommodate this.

Existing third party readers were replaced with Cardax 125 readers, as they have the ability to read multiple formats of cards and are cost effective with Cardax FT Controllers, providing additional capacity for future expansion.

Economic hub of the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions, and number one port in the country in terms of shipping movement, Port of Tauranga will continue to grow. Cardax FT is an investment that will facilitate the future expansion of the port and maintain that smooth flow of trade.

Fact file

Gallagher PowerFence South Africa, +27 (0) 11 397 2986,,


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