Moving Cargo Securely

Excellent Article! ~ Security Managment November 2010 issue A look at what companies that join the post 9-11 C-TPAT program have to do and how their efforts contribute to homeland security. By Joseph Straw. SYNOPSIS After seven years, the U.S Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program has nearly 10,000 participating companies. Under the program, these members observe security criteria in exchange for reduced likelihood of inspections at U.S border crossings. The program incentives improved security throughout the supply chain by encouraging members to do business with one another. A survey of participants found that roughly one in five C-TPAT shipments is subject to inspections at the border, compared to one in 1.25 non-C-TPAT shipments. Border wait times remain a problem, however. Among respondents, 39 percent said wait times decreased, while 53 percent said they increased or stayed the same. Another problem is that drug cartels have targeted C-TPAT partners for smuggling because of the reduced likelihood of inspection. CBP found that C-TPAT members caught with drugs in shipments were not observing security standards or had non-C-TPAT supply chain partners. CBP, meanwhile, had rolled out more robust risk assessment guidelines for program members. (To increase risk management effectiveness across supply chains, this year CBP issued a process guide for five-step risk assessments. First step in CBP’s process is mapping cargo flow and identifying all of the company’s partners in its international supply chains. SEcond, companies are expected to conduct a threat assessment of supply chains. The third element of assessment process, vulnerability assessments. In the fourth step, the C-TPAT member is expected to develop an action plan to mitigate risk along its supply chains-which might include requiring partners...
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