Unisys wins TSA port safety pilot project

Unisys Corp., Blue Bell, Pa., has been awarded a $2.85 million grant to install improved safeguards in the Port of New York and New Jersey, the company announced July 1.

The pilot project, part of the Transportation Security Administration's Operation Safe Commerce, will test processes and technologies that scan the contents of containerized shipments entering and leaving the country.

Consumer goods provider Sara Lee Corp., Chicago, agreed to test the new technologies on the containers it uses to import coffee

The pilot will last approximately one year.

Operation Safe Commerce is a program to test new techniques for insuring the security of shipping containers. In addition to the New York and New Jersey, pilots will also take place at ports in Los Angeles and Seattle.

On June 12, the Homeland Security Department dispersed $28 million to the three port authorities for Operation Safe Commerce, according to Meredith Luttner, manager of state and local market development services for government research firm Input Inc., Reston, Va. Unisys's grant came from this funding.

Overall, federal funding for Operation Safe Commerce is expected to total $58 million.

"Vendors that keep their sights on federal grant programs and awards that are made to state and local governments will have an advantage in finding the homeland security-related contracts that follow," Luttner said.

"We'll move full steam ahead to leverage our position as one of the agency's primary airport security partners with our commercial partners to address the safe commerce challenges," said Greg Baroni, president of Unisys's global public-sector unit.

More than 21,000 cargo containers arrive in U.S. seaports each day, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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