April 8, 2002
USCG and Hawaii use web solution to boost maritime security
The Coast Guard and the State of Hawaii are to use a centralized, "one-stop shopping" Internet-based system to simultaneously improve port safety and security, maritime commerce efficiencies, and maritime domain awareness. The sytem chosen is CIBER, Inc.'s Harbor Management and Security (HMS) packaged application solution.
According to CIBER, the HMS system "integrates state-of-the-market technologies and best business practices to provide the engine for sharing port safety, security and commerce data."
Through a secure site, federal agencies, including the Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and the Immigration Naturalization Service (INS), as well as state port authorities, non-profit marine exchanges, private maritime organizations and others, can share information related to all activities and data for ports and waterways in an effort to improve and optimize port security and commercial economic performance. The shared site allows faster intelligence checks, better response to threats, improved security planning and surveillance techniques, improved port commerce planning, and increased port commerce throughput.
"With more than 95 percent of the United States non-NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) foreign trade carried by ship and the increase in terrorist threats, it makes providing a port information system like HMS even more important and time critical," said Bill Parker, Maritime Systems practice director, CIBER. "Since the HMS system is a packaged solution and is easily hosted and maintained by CIBER, it can be quickly implemented at other ports to address their port security and commerce issues as well."
The Hawaiian system is scheduled to go live later this month, and CIBER will continue to host the technology solution and provide all ongoing required support services, allowing for fast deployment and simplified long-term maintenance, enhancements and upgrades.
Hawaiian maritime industry stakeholders, with the support of the Coast Guard, have worked with CIBER to customize their local system, which they have dubbed the "Hawaii Integrated Maritime Information System" (HIMIS). Some of its government and private partners plan to keep improving the system through several options and enhancements currently being discussed. Several other ports in the country have expressed interest in the system as well and are currently in talks with CIBER. At www.e-hms.net, more details and demonstrations are provided on CIBER's services.
"Our HIMIS system will definitely make several significant improvements to the safety and security of Hawaii's ports, in turn ensuring and likely improving the efficiency of maritime commerce in the region," said Lieutenant Commander Lane Johnson, U.S. Coast Guard in Honolulu. "For example, vessel arrival information will be more quickly and accurately transmitted to all levels of government simultaneously and automatically to ensure timely and accurate screening and clearance procedures for possible security threats before vessels are allowed to enter our ports.
"On the commercial side, with the increased amount of traffic in Hawaii's ports, specifically cruise ship traffic, it has become a very labor intensive job to put together complete vessel itineraries that don't 'cross-thread' with other schedules on a statewide basis," Johnson continued. "For the first time, HIMIS will provide the maritime industry in Hawaii one central online 24 by 7 reference for vessel schedules throughout the entire state to allow for this kind of interactive planning."
Among its many features, HIMIS provides a "self-service" ability to allow all types of authorized users to input and access shared vessel schedule and port facility data across all Hawaiian ports in both flexible user defined reports and visually on nautical web charts. The system also provides a flexible interface engine to share data directly with other federal agency and state government systems, such as Customs.
"These capabilities alone have enormous positive impacts on government's ability to safeguard and protect our nation's harbors and waterways, while at the same time provide private maritime industry a valuable new planning and tracking tool," said Captain Paula Carroll, U.S. Coast Guard.