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Rail News: Intermodal

U.S. transportation industry needs to increase implementation pace of container security systems, report says

Out of more than 7 million containers passing through U.S. ports each year, only 2 percent are physically inspected, according to a recent report by ABI Research.

Security experts have issued warnings about the possibility of unchecked containers harboring terrorists, or carrying explosives or hazardous materials, states the "Container Security and Tracking" report.

Although the United States transportation industry is analyzing and getting closer to implementing container security technologies — such as radio frequency identification, global positioning satellite, cellular, barcode and optical character recognition systems — the technologies aren't being implemented fast enough, ABI researchers believe. The percentage of containers with electronic tracking systems will hover in the single digits until the latter part of the decade.

"Depending on the technology and application, electronic tracking not only can log a container's movements around the world, but also alert administrators that a container was opened without authorization," the report states.

For more information on the report, call 516-624-3113 or visit ABI's Web site at

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/19/2004