Maritime and Ports

  • Port securityIT security at U.S. ports weak: GAO

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that maritime security policies and plans at three high-risk U.S. ports do not effectively address how to assess, manage, and respond to cybersecurity threats. While all three ports have strategies to deal with physical security, there were few policies that specifically addressed cybersecurity.

  • 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.

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  • Port securityPort security technologies demonstrated in Gothenburg, Sweden

    FOI, the Swedish Defense Research Agency, conducted a demonstration in Gothenburg of technology designed to improve the security of ports around the world. One of the reasons for the research into countering intrusion is that many ports find that they lack good and affordable tools for seaward surveillance, and so find it difficult to guard against terrorist attack and organized crime such as theft, smuggling, and stowaways. FOI has, therefore, created a system that is capable of detecting divers, swimmers, or small craft which might attempt to approach the quayside or a vessel tied up alongside.

  • DisastersConventional theories about Titanic disaster are flawed

    Previously it had been suggested that the seas which sank the famous cruise ship — which set off on its maiden voyage 102 years last week (Thursday 10 April 2014) — had an exceptional number of icebergs caused by lunar or solar effects. A new study finds, however, that the Titanic not unlucky for sailing in a year with an unusually high number of icebergs. In fact, the risk of icebergs higher now than it was in 1912.

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  • Port securityBarrier technology strengthens protection at Navy ports

    Advanced technology rules the day in modern warfare — yet one very real threat to the U.S. Navy comes from a simple but deadly enemy strategy: small speed boats laden with explosives ramming into ships in harbor. Now a new maritime security barrier, developed with support from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), could provide a quantum leap in existing sea-port protection.

  • Infrastructure protectionU.S. ports vulnerable to cyberattacks

    New study says that the U.S. largest ports are vulnerable to cyberattacks.The study argues that the level of cyber security awareness and culture in U.S. port facilities is relatively low, and that a cyberattack at a major U.S. port would quickly cause significant damage to the economy.

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  • PortsDHS asked to help shield Port of Hueneme from the effects of sequestration

    The Port of Hueneme is the only deep-water port between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Sequestration-related budget cuts mean the port’s six CBP and two Department of Agriculture inspectors can no longer work on Saturdays, or work overtime. This means that ships arriving at the port now have to wait outside until inspectors are available – at a cost to carriers of between $25,000 and $50,000 per day depending on the size of the ship. Port authorities and local businesses are worried that it will not be long before carriers direct their ships to other ports.

  • InfrastructureAmerica’s outdated waterways, ports hurting economy

    Underinvestment in America’s inland waterways cost American businesses approximately $33 billion in 2010. Without a significant increase in investment, that number could increase to $49 billion by 2020. If improvements are not made, 80 percent of American locks will be functionally obsolete by 2020. The extended failure of just one lock can cost agriculture exporters up to $45 million and barge operators as much as $163 million.

  • Nuclear smugglingU.S. cuts budget for nuclear monitoring at foreign ports

    In 2003 the United States decided to install radiation detection equipment in 100 large ports around the world, and train local personnel in using the equipment, so that ship containers could be scanned for nuclear material before the ship left for the United States; so far, equipment has been deployed in forty-two ports; after GAO criticism of the quality of the scanning equipment and of lack of coordination between two similar container scanning programs, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s 2013 budget will be cut by 85 percent, and further installations will be canceled

  • MaritimeAs maritime security rises, pirate attacks are down

    In the past four years Somali pirates have attacked 800 ships and taken 3,400 people hostage. Now shipping companies which regularly go through the Indian Ocean are fighting back by hiring private security, and the scales have tipped

  • Border securityDHS submersible Pluto mimics the real narco-subs

    In the early 1990s, South American drug cartels came up with a new tactic to transport narcotics destined for the United States: small, radar-dodging, self-propelled, semi-submersibles (SPSSs); better to address the submersible problem, DHS Science and Technology Directorate created its own submersible and called it Pluto, after the planet which is difficult to spot

  • Maritime securityCanada funds digital technology to enhance maritime security, surveillance

    New funding will allow exactEarth to improve its ability to locate more than 80,000 ships daily anywhere around the world and transmit this information quickly to its customers; this data is used within Canada and globally for a number of purposes, including enhancing maritime security and surveillance as well as search and rescue support

  • SurveillanceDHS funds more tests of autonomous power buoy for ocean surveillance

    Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has entered into an agreement with DHS Science & Technology Directorate to perform a new round of in-ocean tests on the company’s Autonomous PowerBuoy to demonstrate its use for ocean surveillance

  • Port securityLong Beach Police Department purchases underwater inspection system for port

    The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest seaport in the United States and is a major gateway for trade with Asia, handling more than six million containers annually; to enhance port security, the City of Long Beach Police Department has purchased an Underwater Inspection System (UIS) from Cod Octopus

     

  • DisastersMen in maritime disasters save themselves first --“women and children first” is a myth

    Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of “women and children first” gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew members give priority to passengers; a new study find that the Titanic disaster, in which 70 percent of the women and children on board were saved compared to 20 percent of the men, is a glaring exception to the rule; during maritime disasters, men use their relative strength to save themselves; what is more, studies of human behavior during natural disasters show the same results: in life-and-death situations, it is every man for himself