The Future of Cargo Container Screening and Security
Lew Knopp, CEO of Templar Titan argues that a world-wide focus on the security of the supply chain is required. He adds, “Not one country, port or operator can assume the responsibility of cargo security.”
The future of cargo container screening and security is and will always be evolving to be more efficient and effective with the use of smart container systems, RFID container seal systems and fast-pass-through nuclear/radiological container screening systems. More importantly a world-wide focus on the security of the supply chain is required. Not one country, port or operator can assume the responsibility of cargo security. Cargo security needs to be engrained and be a part of the shipping transportation process. There must be multilateral efforts in the supply chain in order to ensure cargo security at every stage including from manufacturing to the consumer.
Cargo security technology is a valid tool, but only if all of the players are on the same page. It does very little for a container to pass-through a vehicle and cargo inspection system (VACS) at point of origin only to be trans-shipped through a less secured port or a developing country with limited to no inventory controls including basic security policies and procedures. In the future and on a world-wide scale we can hope that deploying new technology will increase the screening and security of containers against acts of terrorism and generate productivity benefits for the economy and profits for ports, shippers, carriers and ultimately the consumers.
As the technology advances and implemented, it will generate benefits for the maritime industry and save the end-user in the long term. The benefits will come from fewer delays and misrouted shipments, improved and ensure reliability, reduced back-logs and stagnant inventories. By utilizing better containers and terminal efficiency, theft and pilferage are reduced and insurance costs remain constant. In addition and most importantly the reduction of a terrorist attack occurring from a occurring utilizing a overseas cargo container.
Future containers will incorporate smart technology to include; anti-tampering, intrusion and condition detection alerts, GRS tracking, RFID communications and reporting elements that will give supply chain stakeholders a real time image of the location and status of their shipments and allow carriers better control of their equipment and inventory to enhance commerce.
Container screening has been an issue for many years, but the increase in a cargo container potentially being used by terrorist to transport a WMD has long been a concern for security, law enforcement professionals. To date, security has mostly involved human intelligence and inspection of shipping manifests looking for suspicious cargo. Although many ports worldwide employ non-intrusive inspection (NII) technology. A current estimate is less than 4-5% of the millions of containers bound for the U.S. are deemed “high risk” by officials and pulled out for detailed inspection.
Future container screening equipment will be able to scan and detect at a faster rate with less false-positives. The key is to not slow-down the rate of through-put which directly impacts commerce, but to actually increase efficiency. In the maritime industry, “time is money and money is time”! A feasible screening system would employ massive scanners, checking for nuclear radiation, using gamma rays to seek out any dense, suspicious objects and vapor tracers for the detection of contraband (i.e., conventional explosives, narcotics, stowaways…). The images from theses scanners would be displayed on large flat panel screens for security or port law enforcement personnel to examine, the images are digitally recorded along with the container ID and other pertinent information. The electronic data can then be passed along to other ports or law enforcement agencies for investigation and/or prosecution. In addition to stopping dangerous or suspicious cargo before it enters the supply chain, it also would allow other containers to keep moving through the process with little to no delays being incurred.
Some of the companies that are on the forefront of container security are Kroll, SAIC and
HRSC just to name of few. What is evident is that security comes with a price tag. Any and all container screening and security devices all have an associated cost attached to them, of which, the end result will be the consumer absorbing the brunt of the expense.”
Lew Knopp is founder and CEO of Templar Titan, Inc. A former Navy SEAL, Knopp oversees an organization that is comprised of individuals with engineering, law enforcement, electronic security, computer programming forensics, and military backgrounds. The TTS training cadre consists of some of the best Special Forces operators law enforcement officers the world has to offer. The teams operational know-how spans 40 years of indigenous special warfare within the United States military and law enforcement units.
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