RFID for Port Activities

Security at ports can be upgraded to global standards, with the introduction of the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

RFID tags will be employed in a port to provide access control and instant vehicle tracking mechanism. The initiative will give a new dimension to vehicle/manpower management and make surveillance easy for the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

Furthermore, the RFID will help in effective compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS), framed by the International Maritime Organisation, which is mandatory for all ports.

This technology has been successfully implemented in major ports across the world, including the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands that handles 40,000 vehicles a day.”

RFID card is a small electronic device that comprises a chip and an antenna. The chip can store 2,000 bytes of data that can be retrieved from an approaching vehicle with the help of card readers. The range works anywhere between 10 – 25 feet with RFID passive technology and over 100 meters for RFID Active Technology.

With the volume of cargo handled growing steadily, the need for automated vehicle tracking is crucial.

At present, the issue of passes to these vehicles and verification of security credentials are being done manually by the port administration and the CISF. There is no provision in the existing mechanism to monitor the movement of trucks, track their location and know the time they have stayed on the port premises. Even if vehicles enter the prohibited or sterile zones, the CISF will not be in a position to know unless someone informs it about the violation.

With the RFID, the sources say, security personnel will have complete details about the vehicles that enter the port, along with the time and location.


“In case, a truck overstays the permitted time, we can levy penalty. Entry of unauthorised vehicles can be prevented. If any vehicle enters the sterile zone, the CISF control room will get an alert message. The RFID will provide smooth and continuous flow of vehicles, thus avoiding congestion at the entry/exit points and on the campus.

Port staff and CISF authorities can also be covered using RFID Tags.