Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Ocean cargo news: Port security still among biggest challenges for shippers

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
May 25, 2010

While it is not always a top of mind topic given the myriad challenges shippers face at any time, the issue of port security is never truly too far away.

That much was made clear during the keynote address at the recentNational Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC) Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida by Colonel Randall Larsen, USAF (Ret.) Executive Director of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.

Larsen addressed a wide range of transportation security-related issues during his engaging remarks, but the ones that stuck out the most clearly were those focusing on securing our nation’s ports.

There are two elements to port security, according to Larsen: are we afraid bad weapons or something equivalent to that are going to come through our ports?; and the other being the actual physical security of our ports.

“People are focused on putting detectors on the seaside part of the port and are not putting anything on the land side of the port,” said Larsen. “If you read Al Quaeda operations manuals, they say ‘make your weapons inside the countries you are going to use them in’ and looking at their attacks that is what they do. If they want to use a dirty bomb to shut down a port, they bring it in on a truck on the land side not the sea side.”

Larsen then explained that despite this philosophy, Congress is not taking heed and making the right decisions when it comes to port security. Instead, Congress, he explained “does not really get” that concept.

He recalled a recent conversation he had with Beth Ann Rooney, chief of security at the Port of New York/New Jersey. When Larsen asked her about the concept of 100 percent scanning of all shipping containers, Rooney said that Congress wants ports to perform 100 percent container scanning but even if containers are being scanned—and the basic act of putting aluminum foil around a nuclear weapon can negate that procedure—it has no impact whatsoever on the 700,000 or so automobiles that come off of ro-ro vessels into the port on an annual basis and exit the port without being scanned and no plans to do so any time soon either.

At the end of the day, Larsen said education is the answer to better port security planning and processes.

“There are lots of problems in Washington in dealing with Congress, but if you take time to educate them, they will make the right decisions,” he said.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Last week, the United States Department of Transportation took further steps to address various issues identified in recent train accidents involving crude oil and ethanol shipped by rail. The announcement was made by DOT with other DOT agencies, including the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Logistics Management Group News Editor Jeff Berman had an opportunity to interview Derek Leathers, President and Chief Operating Officer of Werner Enterprises, at this month's NASSTRAC Shippers Conference and Transportation Expo in Orlando. They discussed various aspects of the truckload market, including prices, fuel, and regulations.

During this webcast our presenters will apply the findings of the 23rd Annual Trends & Issues in Transportation and Logistics Study to the world of shipper-carrier decision making. They'll examine the primary aspects that will influence the future direction for shipper-carrier decision-making.

For February, the month for which most recent data is available, the SCI dropped to -1.0 from January’s 2.6, with FTR explaining that the short term positive impact from one-time adjustments for rapidly dropping diesel prices and the suspension of the 2013 motor carriers hours-of-service expires later this year.

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in March was up 1.1 percent on the heels of a revised 2.8 percent (from 3.1 percent) February decline, with the SA index at 133.5 (2000=100). This is off 0.3 percent from the all-time high for the SA of 135.8 from January 2015 and is up 5 percent annually.

Article Topics

News · Ocean Freight · Shipping · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA