With millions of cargo containers entering US ports every year, gaps in the global supply chain leave the United States vulnerable to criminal and terrorist attacks using containers, which can have a significant impact on the security and economic health of the nation.
In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the newly formed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency within the Department of Homeland Security launched the Container Security Initiative (CSI) to address the threat to border security and global trade posed by potential terrorists’ use of a container to deliver a weapon – especially a weapon of mass destruction.
However, supply chain experts like Dr. James Giermanski, chairman of Powers International Inc., have scrutinized CSI and say it is a weak program that lacks a basic understanding of how the global supply chain functions.
In 2012, CBP admitted there could be a serious vulnerability within the US in-bond cargo program regarding the contents, access and whereabouts of in-bond cargo shipments. Moreover, a 2013 Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit found CBP has not assessed the risk posed by foreign ports that ship cargo to the United States for its CSI program since 2005.
Read complete report in the June/July 2015 issue of Homeland Security Today.