Friday, October 15, 2010

Adoption of Container Security Technologies Faces Many Hurdles

(World Trade Interactive)

While the Department of Homeland Security has been working for many years to develop and implement technologies to increase the security of international cargo containers, those efforts have yielded only moderate success to date, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. In addition, there are a number of substantial challenges ahead, including buy-in from the international trade community, foreign countries and international organizations.

Technologies Under Development

The report identifies four container security technology projects currently at various stages of development.

• the Advanced Container Security Device, to detect intrusion on all six sides of a container

• the Container Security Device, to detect the opening or removal of container doors

• the Hybrid Composite Container, a lightweight container with an embedded sensor grid to detect intrusion on all six sides

• the Marine Asset Tag Tracking System, to track containers

The ACSD and Hybrid Composite Container technologies have not yet completed laboratory testing, but the CSD and MATTS are proceeding to testing in an operational environment, which will determine if they can operate in the global supply chain. However, the report points out that the testing DHS plans to conduct is limited to the maritime environment and does not fully address all of the operational scenarios being considered. The report therefore recommends that DHS move to Phase II trade lane testing to better determine if these technologies will be suitable for use in their intended operational environments. Read more here.