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9/17/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

White paper: Three shipper organizations share container-security ideas


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The National Industrial Transportation League (NITL), World Shipping Council and International Mass Retail Association recently submitted a white paper to federal transportation officials outlining a series of recommendations designed to improve container security.

Entitled "In-Transit Container Security Enhancement," the paper "is intended to be a foundation for governing container security according to predictable, transparent and consistent rules," said NITL in a prepared statement.

"Container security is a shared responsibility," World Shipping Council officials said. "The shipper is responsible for stuffing and sealing a safe and secure container. Those who have custody of the container during its transit are responsible for its security [and] the government has critical responsibilities, [such as] to gather and analyze advance data on all container shipments, screen shipments and inspect any container that raises a security question."

The paper proposes the government require uniform container checking and monitoring steps.

"The specific recommendations could be implemented pursuant to a government rulemaking within a short period of time," World Shipping Council said.

The paper also recommends needed electronic-seal security characteristics and additional technology to enhance container security.

"Not only is there no approved standard for electronic seals at the present time, but potential manufacturers have not agreed on what the devices' security characteristics should be," World Shipping Council said. "Security technology cannot be developed and applied in a vacuum."


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