ITS Services wins FAST follow-on work

ITS Services Inc., Springfield, Va., has won a contract extension to equip Mexican border ports with wireless truck identification technology, according to the company.

The systems integrator has been contracted to equip six ports with wireless technologies, according to Jill Thompson, group vice president for ITS Services. In November 2002, ITS Services won a contract to equip six U.S.-Canadian ports for $1.2 million and will equip the Mexican ports under the original contract, bringing its value to $5.7 million, Thompson said.

The wireless equipment is part of the Homeland Security Department's Free and Secure Trade program, which is run by the Customs and Border Protection Bureau. FAST establishes dedicated lanes at border crossings for trucks that have registered through the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program, which collects additional security information from carriers.

The program uses wireless radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags to identify trucks that have been registered as secure.

Calling the Canadian program successful, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced Dec. 4 that the FAST program would be expanded to Mexican ports.

The El Paso, Texas, border port has already opened a number of FAST lanes, which have been operating since Sept. 27. ITS will equip an additional six ports by Jan. 31: Brownsville, Hidalgo and Laredo in Texas; Calexico and Otay Mesa, Calif.; and Nogales, Ariz. A total of 65 lanes will be equipped as FAST lanes.

ITS Services is using RFID tag printers from the DataCard Group of Minnetonka, Minn. to print the identification cards for the truck drivers. TransCore, Beaverton, Ore., is providing the windshield sticker tags, blank identification cards and inspection booth reader equipment. Intermec Technologies Corp., Everett, Wash., provides handheld RFID readers.

About the Author

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

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