Security challenges in United States sea ports: an overview
Leonard, Timothy J.
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The maritime industry is a crucial link to transport billions in goods each year to and from countries throughout the world. This historical mode of transportation has steadily grown in importance, sustaining worldwide economic growth and the United States economy. It is generally agreed that an attack against an American port would have a long-lasting economic impact for the United States and its trading partners. Today’s shipping container is the primary asset used to move cargo aboard commercial shipping vessels. The containers are ubiquitous in our society with currently more than 34 million 20-ft equivalent units (TEU) in use around the globe today (World Shipping Council 2014). The typical container used in shipping is a 20- or 40-ft enclosed container. These intermodal containers have greatly enhanced the transportation industry but have also created immense security susceptibilities. Millions of these containers enter the U.S. every year and only small percentages can be inspected. These containers have posed a significant opportunity for terrorist activities to employ weapons of mass destruction or biohazards within the continental United States. This paper provides an overview of the current state and identifies what public and private security initiative enhancements should take place in order to protect the United States economy and homeland against terroristic activities.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12198-015-0155-9
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