In the logistics business, there is little tolerance for uncertainty. The supply chain, from the producer to the consumer, must be finely tuned so goods arrive at the right destination within tight time frames. TSA rules, particularly security procedures for processing cargo transported by air, can dramatically affect supply chain performance. Yet, there are no TSA enforcement guidelines detailing the agency’s discretion in enforcing noncompliance with air cargo security rules.
Supply Chain Security
December 3rd, 2012 - by Stephen Heifetz
In 2007, Congress passed a mandate to screen all cargo on passenger planes. It was an enormous demand of industry and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), one that shows a clear lack of understanding for real-world issues like business models and a functioning supply chain. Five years later, TSA and industry are still working to meet an unrealistic mandate. Put bluntly, 100 percent screening was a stupid idea that has not made America more secure.
March 29th, 2012 - by Rich Cooper
Despite Defense Department budget cuts and ongoing military operations, pirates in the waters off the coast of Somalia won’t see a decrease in naval military presence any time soon. NATO allies recently agreed to continue through 2014 the Ocean Shield operation – a counter-piracy naval operation off the Horn of Africa protecting merchant ships from pirate attack. This is welcome news to many ship owners and charters, which have seen an increase in the number of pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean. The pirate threat and the international response seem only to be escalating.
February 16th, 2012 - by Stephen Heifetz
Last week, U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett announced a $1 million fine against OHL Solutions for intentionally failing to screen cargo in accordance with TSA rules. The TSA investigation began in December 2010, and this fine was not a shock to many observers – even before that investigation began, several of us noted that serious TSA enforcement actions seemed just around the corner. But this enforcement action does give rise to a problem – since TSA security plans are so complex and unwieldy, how is it possible to comply with the letter of the law?
February 3rd, 2012 - by Guest Contributor
By Michael Balboni
In an op-ed for Newsday, I examined Secretary Napolitano’s announcement of a National Strategy for Supply Chain Security, noting that it only mentioned the importance of physical security. Surprisingly, cyber threats were left completely off the table, though it is crucial to recognize that both these threats are actually inexorably intertwined.
January 27th, 2012 -
By Seth Stodder
This week, the Obama Administration released its long-awaited National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security. The strategy articulates the Administration’s vision for working with the international partners and the global private sector to both promote the efficient and secure movement of goods throughout the global economy, and also foster the development of a supply chain system more resilient to major disruptions.
Recently, it was reported that members of Mexican Crime Cartels illegally entered five different truck yards in northern Mexico by threatening security officers. These criminals did not steal cash or cargo. Instead, they compromised sensitive corporate information – routing information for U.S.-bound commercial truck shipments. Criminal organizations the world over, especially along the land border of Mexico and the United States, use commercial trucks to move contraband. Because of the huge amount of trade that crosses our borders and the limited number of personnel to inspect and process this trade, two methods were created to ease the cargo delays and help the CBP inspectors target suspect trucks.
November 18th, 2011 - by Chris Battle
The TSA and the aviation industry acknowledge the unrealistic goal of screening 100 percent of all air cargo that enters, crosses or leaves the country. Some members of Congress, never to miss an oversimplified political solution to a complex problems, call for even more screening than we already (don’t) have.
June 9th, 2011 - by Anthony Macisco
Recently, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued due diligence guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-affected and High-Risk Areas. These guidelines are a necessary first step in helping the local populace, developing countries, and multi-national corporations meet international requirements. In a high-risk environment, corporations must have vibrant management systems that strongly communicate and actively demonstrate to employees and outside entities their commitment to a conflict-free supply chain.
April 28th, 2011 - by Chris Battle
The congressional mandate to screen not only domestic U.S. air cargo but now also screen 100 percent of all international inbound cargo continues to confound cargo carriers, freight forwarders and shippers. A recent article in Air Cargo World summed up U.S. and international views of different parties in the aviation supply chain — the consensus, in a nutshell, being confusion. I had the opportunity to offer a few comments
March 17th, 2011 - by Chris Battle
The TSA is still engaged in a game of intellectual Twister, bending every which way to meet an impossible congressional mandate that it enforce the screening of 100 percent of all cargo — domestic as well as international. The new suggested deadline shoots for all inbound cargo to be screened by December. God bless the TSA for continuing in its creative efforts to meet the mandate without undermining security, provoking allies and clogging commerce.
January 19th, 2011 - by Justin Hienz
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is informing industry that the requirement to screen 100 percent of cargo on passenger planes inbound to the United States will be met by December 31, 2011. Did I miss something? What has happened over the last six months that makes TSA think inbound cargo will be 100 percent screened by the end of the year? There’s aggressive action and then there’s unrealistic optimism.
By Edward Alden
Nearly a decade after the United States and Canada set the early template for cross-border cooperation in the post-9/11 era with the 2001 Smart Border Accords, the two governments finally appear ready to take the next step towards a genuine system of “perimeter security.” While the initiative as outlined makes tremendous sense on both sides of the border, it will face significant opposition in Canada from those who fear that national sovereignty will be sacrificed on the altar of continental security, and in the United States from those who favor unilateral approaches to securing the borders.
December 13th, 2010 - by Stewart Verdery
Security Debrief’s Stewart Verdery moderated a panel at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars regarding trade and border security on the Canadian border. Specifically, the panel was titled “Mixed Signals at the Border: The Future of U.S.-Canada Preclearance Programs.”
December 10th, 2010 -
This is the second video from the US Chamber’s forum on supply chains and cargo security. Officials from TSA and CBP join representatives from the private sector to discuss where policy might be going.
December 9th, 2010 -
The US Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum on global supply chain this week, which of course had to include a discussion on international cargo security. Check out the video of CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin speaking to the group.
November 4th, 2010 - by Tom Blank
As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its allies in the intelligence community assess the serious attack on international aviation that originated in Yemen, these key considerations should be foremost in their minds: defeating the terrorist threat relies on multi-national information sharing; increasing economic globalization requires a dynamic and secure air cargo supply chain; and attacking international commercial aviation remains a terrorist priority.
Reports are that the air cargo industry is nervous about regulatory or legislative responses to the recent terrorist attempt to send package bombs to the United States on cargo aircraft. It should be. Reactionaries in Washington don’t rest. Recent quotes from legislators suggest that the provisions of the Air Cargo Security Act of 2010, as with current mandates, should be enforced globally for cargo-only aircraft. Federalizing the security of the supply chain serves as blunt instrument, a reactionary’s tool of choice, to the problem.
November 1st, 2010 -
Here is an interesting video of Erroll Southers analyzing Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the recent bomb plot against the United States. Southers is the Associate Director of the National Homeland Security Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) and Managing Director of Counter Terrorism for TAL Global, an international security firm. He was President Obama’s first nominee for TSA administrator and previously served as Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence for the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department.
November 1st, 2010 - by Kevin McCarthy
This past Friday, in the wake of the developing air cargo terror operation related to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), concealing explosive devices in freight shipments, I was invited to contribute expert commentary to CBS affiliate talk radio WCCO in Minneapolis. My interview lasted less then 2 minutes, during which time I articulated that the plot had been interdicted through “old-fashioned” intelligence, not fancy hi-tech screening devices. I opined that the most critical aspect of the intelligence operation is information sharing between agencies and with the private sector partners who are targeted by these actions.