• Robotic ferret to secure cargo containers

    The U.S. maritime system consists of more than 300 seaports and more than 3,700 cargo and passenger terminals; more than 6 million cargo containers enter U.S. seaports annually; new robotic ferret will help detect radioactive materials, explosives, drugs, and illegal immigrants smuggled inside such containers

  • Congress requires competition for for aviation security services

    Despite heavy lobbying by airport managers, Congress insists that TSA must hold open and full competition for security background screening services for aviation workers

  • France opens naval base in the Gulf

    President Nicolas Sarkozy today opens the first French military base in the Gulf; France is eying multi-billion dollar deals for nuclear reactors and sophisticated weapons for countries in the region

  • Shipping executive calls for armed federal security on U.S. ships

    Liberty Maritime Corp.’s Philip Shapiro calls for Congress to remove the legal barriers to arming ships so that they may provide their own security

  • U.S. ships will be required to post guards when sailing near Somalia

    The U.S. Coast Guard will require U.S.-flagged ships sailing around the Horn of Africa to post guards and ship owners to submit anti-piracy security plans for approval

  • Boat made from carbon nanotube composite fibers for coastal security

    The administration’s 2010 budget cuts the U.S. Coast Guard’s budget, so it is good that a Washington state-based company is building a boat made entirely with carbon nanotube enhanced pre-impregnated composite fibers; the 16 meter boat will weigh less than 3,630 kg, fully equipped; this is approximately 75 percent less than fiberglass boats of the same size, and 33 percent less than conventional carbon fiber boats

  • U.S. Coast Guard budget reduced by $20 million relative to 2009

    USCG supporters fret over cuts in the Coast Guard budget; the cuts would have been even deeper had it not been for a slight injection of stimulus package funds and the inclusion of DoD supplemental money of $241 million for Operating Expenses Appropriation in support of Overseas Contingency Operations

  • Somali pirates benefit from a global network of informers

    These are not your father’s pirates: Somali pirates benefit from information sent to them by informers planted in key shipping hubs around the world; this information includes vessels’ cargo, layout, and route — and is transmitted early enough to allow the pirates enough time to practice their assault based on the information they received

  • American Technology Corp.: LRAD worked as intended in February incident

    San Diego-based American Technology Corporation says its product — long-range acoustic device (LRAD) — was never deployed during the February 2009 MV Biscaglia pirate incident; LRAD is a critical part of a layered defense strategy; it is effective in giving crew members time to determine the intent of unidentified vessels that do not respond to radio calls, and let the pirates know that they lost the element of surprise

  • $250 million TWIC port security project hobbled by lack of biometric readers

    What is the use of issuing more than 1 million biometric IDs to truckers, deckhands, and others requiring access to secure areas at sea ports — if there are no reliable biometric readers at the ports to read these cards? Post security project suffers

  • What to do about high-seas piracy?

    The debate intensifies over what to do about the growing problem of piracy on the high seas; here is a sample of the points being discussed

  • High-seas piracy triggers higher insurance rates for shippers

    Here is a problem ideally suited for contemporary courses at business schools: Shippers face a a choice: if they send their ships to sail through the piracy-infested Gulf of Aden, they now have to pay much higher insurance; they can instead choose to take long trips around the Africa’s southern tip; both choices add millions to the cost of each journey; which one is preferable?

  • Texas university offers maritime degree

    The growing security mandates imposed on U.S. sea ports, and need to manage these mandates with but minimal disruption of the flow of commerce, have led Texas Southern University to begin to offer a new degree program in maritime transportation; the bachelor’s and master’s degrees will prepare students in three areas: maritime logistics, security, and environmental compliance

  • DHS to Congress: reconsider cargo mandate

    Congress passed a law requiring DHS to ensure that all U.S.-bound containers are scanned abroad by 2012; DHS told legislators that this mandate “needs to be thoughtfully reconsidered”

  • U.S. to provide radar surveillance to Cameroonian coasts

    The United States will provide Cameroon with sophisticated radar gear to monitor the country’s coastal water; the United States is concerned not only about the safety of Cameroonian coasts but also about that of the entire Gulf of Guinea, plagued by sea-hijackings