Cargo and Containers

  • Container scanningU.K. forwarders “not surprised” by U.S. climb-down on 100 percent container scanning

    One leader of the international freight industry says it was “hardly surprising” to hear the recent news that the United States has delayed new rules requiring all cargo containers entering the United States to be security scanned prior to departure from overseas for two more years, amid questions over whether this is the best way to protect U.S. ports.

  • Shipping securityBolstering shipping security

    During a press conference following the March 2014 Nuclear Secu­rity Summit in the Hague, President Barack Obama noted that his biggest security concern was not Russia — or any other regional superpower — but rather “the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan.” Experts say that the most likely way in which a nuclear weapon would potentially come to a major U.S. city is not on the tip of a missile but in the belly of a ship, noting that this view has been openly validated by the intelligence community. In 2007, Congress passed a law requiring all overseas cargo containers to be inspected before they are loaded on a U.S.-bound ship. That law, however, has never been enforced.

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  • HazmatU.S. takes action against tank car loaders for mislabeling hazardous cargo

    One of the charges against Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMAR), the rail carrier operating the train which exploded in the small city of Lac- Mégantic, Quebec in July 2013, was that it mislabeled the cargo, claiming it to be less hazardous than it was. The mislabeling and downgrading of the contents of the cars allowed to company to take less rigorous security measures to secure the cars without appearing to break the law. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is moving against other carriers who mislabel the contents of their cargo to avoid the cost of required security measures.

  • Nuclear detectionHighly portable X-ray imaging system developed

    Los Alamos National Laboratory and Tribogenics have developed the MiniMAX (Miniature, Mobile, Agile, X-ray) camera to provide real-time inspection of sealed containers and facilities.MiniMAX is an alternative to the large, expensive, and fixed facilities presently required for security inspections using X-ray imaging. The complete MiniMAX portable radiography system weighs less than five pounds.

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  • TerrorismChechen Islamic terrorists threaten February 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia

    Doku Umarov, a leading Chechen Islamic rebel, on Wednesday issued a call to Islamist militants throughout the North Caucasus to begin and plan for attacks to disrupt the February 2014 Winter Olympics which will be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Security experts say that securing the games would be a daunting task.

  • Transportation securityNY-NJ Port Authority centralizes security operations

    The Port of Authority of New York and new Jersey has created a stand-alone Security Department and is now searching for a Chief Security Officer to oversee all security and safety functions, resources, and personnel

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  • Cargo screeningNew cargo screening unveiled

    Smiths Detection’s new HCVMe uses the power of a 4MeV X-ray accelerator and can scan loaded cargo containers with a steel penetration of 200 mm

  • Cargo security: there is a difference between “tracking” and “chain of custody”

    For cargo to be under a tight chain of custody, it requires security throughout its carriage from stuffing, verification, and sealing at point of origin, confirmed by an authorized agent who arms a container’s security system and seals the container. All elements of cargo information, container identification in which it was sealed, identify of person verifying cargo, and all who had access to the cargo during movement and relating dates and times must be maintained electronically in the control system of the secure servers of the container security device provider.

  • Transportation SecurityTSA deploys vehicle inspection teams in Tennessee

    Last week in an effort to improve security on U.S. highways, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) established checkpoints at truck weight stations in Tennessee; working with the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security, TSA deployed Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams across the state to inspect vehicles

  • Cargo screeningBSI will develop new system for screening cargo

    DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded a contract to BSI Group’s Supply Chain Solutions business unit for the creation of a protocol to aid the screening of cargo at U.S. ports

  • ImmigrationTask force releases Secure Communities report amid internal discord

    Last week, a government task force created to offer recommendations on how to fix the controversial Secure Communities immigration program released its findings to a chorus of internal disagreement; the committee recommended that DHS restart Secure Communities and “reintroduce” the program due to its unpopularity among immigration advocates, local residents, as well as state and local officials; as an act of protest, five of the nineteen committee members resigned because they did not agree with the report’s conclusions

  • Air cargo securityTSA finalizes air cargo screening mandate

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced on Tuesday that it had implemented the final part of the 9/11 Commission’s requirement for air cargo screening; under Tuesday’s finalized rule, air cargo companies may apply to become a Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF) — CCSFs carry out a TSA-approved security program offsite and transport it to the airport securely without the need for rescreening

  • ASIS International 2011ASIS Conference: Securing the global supply chain

    At the upcoming annual ASIS International security conference, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about protecting the global supply chain at one of the many educational sessions; officials fear that a terrorist attack on a seaport could cripple a local economy and have global repercussions. As nearly 90 percent of the world’s goods are still shipped via containers on massive transport ships

  • Cargo securityU.S. no longer mandating 100 percent screening of cargo containers

    DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the United States is no longer going to screen every cargo container before it enters the United States; she said, “We believe the so-called 100 percent requirement is probably not the best way to go”; in 2007 Congress mandated that all containers entering the United States must be scanned at their ports of exit by 2012; the 2007 bill empowers DHS to extend the 2012 deadline if the agency believed that the goal was not achievable and in the past Napolitano has expressed doubts about the feasibility of screening 100 percent of the cargo entering the United States

  • Law enforcementMilwaukee studying Israel's homeland security practices

    This week, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark along with about a dozen other police chiefs and county sheriffs are visiting Israel to study the country’s homeland security tactics; American law enforcement officials will learn more about Israeli practices in airport security, intelligence analysis and sharing, mass casualty management, and bomb disposal practices; the trip began on 10 April and will conclude on 16 April