• ITVI.USA
    15,868.670
    8.820
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.774
    0.001
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.470
    0.010
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,873.680
    8.980
    0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,868.670
    8.820
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.774
    0.001
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.470
    0.010
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,873.680
    8.980
    0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American ShipperInfrastructureShippingTrade and ComplianceWarehouse

Editorial: Staying vigilant on cargo security

   Cargo security vigilance in the United States was perhaps at its highest in the wake and immediate years following the deadly terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. 
   However, its human nature for us to drift back into a state of complacency after a while. Businesses grumble quietly how much they can’t stand the regulatory burdens placed upon them. They just want to move the freight and make their money as quickly as possible. Nothing should stand in the way of that. Right?
   Without attempting to sound alarmist, multinational terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaida are far from defeated and continue to find more sinister ways to harm people and they’re accomplishing that by continuously prodding their followers to look for “soft” spots. Recent events in Europe and Turkey demonstrate this. But as these terrorists have shown, they can cause harm to anyone, anywhere and at any time in the world, including the United States.
   If your trucks and warehouses are easily broken into by robbers, that tells anyone who is bent on this type of wrongdoing that you’re a potential conduit to carry out their ill deeds. 
   If you don’t properly describe and secure your hazardous materials cargoes before you hand them off to a transportation provider, that tells a would-be terrorist who may read about it in the news that you’re negligent and don’t care about the welfare and safety of those around you. 
   Meanwhile, there are lots of actions and technologies available today, including keeping up with regulations, to strengthen the security of one’s supply chain and transportation assets. 
   Secure gates and alarm systems for your truck lots and warehouses should already be a given, in addition to providing truckers with safe and secure places to park their trucks during rest periods.
   Having solid hazmat compliance and control programs as a practical day-to-day business program helps.
   Watching your IT systems for signs of outside probing or hacking, particularly when it pertains to supply chain information, should set off alarm bells and be immediately reported through the corporate chain of command and law enforcement, if necessary.
   A red flag of ill-intent may come from an employee’s erratic behavior or commentary, which again should be brought to the attention of senior management, or to outside authorities if immediacy is required. 
   When you see something amiss in your supply chain or transportation assets, document and report it. Maybe it was just a simple case of carelessness in the course of a day’s work. But you never know if it could be the seeds of something far more sinister. A high level of intelligence among industry, and consequently law enforcement, is the only way to counter domestic or international terrorist activities. 
   While there’s no silver bullet to stopping terrorism, you wouldn’t want to be the individual or company that through negligence allowed your property or conveyances to be used by these individuals to stage or carry out their deadly attacks. 
   The shipping industry, including shippers, carriers and third party logistics services providers, needs to do its utmost to ensure that all channels and doors through which terrorist organizations might attempt to operate are secure.

  Chris Gillis is Editor of American Shipper. He can be reached by email at cgillis@shippers.com.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.

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