In comparison to last year, 2015 has been characterized by a surge in cargo theft. With both the number of thefts and the average loss per incident having increased, it is important to be aware of some of the main issues for transportation security. To do so, let’s review six important transportation issues as described by the ex-chairman of the National Cargo Security Council, Ed Badolato:
- The lack of effective cargo theft reporting systems. There are currently no industrywide cargo theft reporting systems that allow law enforcement agencies to identify trends and guide appropriate countermeasures. However, some initiatives are currently underway.
- The weakness of current transportation crime laws and prosecution. The legal system must upgrade sentencing guidelines for cargo theft so that the prosecution of cargo crime does not remain a “revolving door” for criminals.
- The lack of understanding of the nature of cargo crime. Many government and industry decision makers in the United States and other nations do not understand the global extent and economic threat of cargo crime.
- Inadequate support for cargo theft task forces.The scarcity of dedicated, trained, professional law enforcement teams to fight cargo theft in high-threat areas in the United States and worldwide has contributed to the rise of cargo losses.
- The need to improve local law enforcement expertise on cargo theft. Local law enforcement officers often are not knowledgeable about cargo security issues, requirements, and techniques, giving an advantage to cargo thieves.
- The need for more effective cargo security technology. Security researchers should increase emphasis on cargo tracking systems; improved locks, seals, and containers; fast but nonintrusive X-ray and other detection devices; and the integration of security into new cargo handling and supply chain management systems.