Archives For Port security

Thermal imaging cameras produce high-quality video in challenging lighting conditions. [Picture: Pelco-Schneider Electric]

Thermal imaging cameras produce high-quality video in challenging lighting conditions. [Picture: Pelco-Schneider Electric]

Millions of tonnes of cargo and billions of Euros in goods value represent the activity of a small city with miles of perimeter fencing, uneven infrastructure, blind spots and ever-changing weather conditions. Port security is no small task yet increasingly, security operators are asked to assume more responsibilities with static, if not shrinking, budgets. As drivers of a global economy, the demands placed on port security continue to grow and with it, the challenges and complexity increase exponentially.

Unlike traditional retail, commercial, and many industrial applications, ports present unique security issues that must be anticipated and addressed. Typically, high security installations rely on a variety of solutions, including – and often heavily relying upon – video security and surveillance. The combination of legacy analogue and more modern IP-based video cameras, recording and video management systems, Physical Security Information Management (PSIM), analytics and more provide a digital extension of security personnel.

Once restricted to the military due to prohibitive cost, thermal imaging is an increasingly relied upon technology for an ever-growing array of security – as well as process and operations management applications. As price points have dropped, integration of thermal technology into today’s video security and surveillance camera systems has become more prevalent, providing a wealth of information and functionality previously unavailable.

Port security however is anything but typical. From miles of unguarded, unlit perimeters to ever-changing lighting and weather conditions, traditional video security has a difficult time providing the comprehensive intelligence demanded by such a high-security facility. For more details read the full article at Port Technology International, by clicking the hyperlink.

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The conventional image (left) and the dynamic image (right) of a pack of rice containing mealworm larvae

The conventional image (left) and the dynamic image (right) of a pack of rice containing mealworm larvae

X-ray inspection systems are a standard feature in many ports. These X-ray systems have the unique ability to non-destructively image the contents of entire cargo containers in just a few seconds. It is a difficult task, however, to identify what is in the container based on the obtained X-ray images. The superposition of two images with different contrasts – like in dual-energy X-ray imaging – can enhance the effectiveness of the detection. A novel X-ray imaging technology now introduces an entirely new type of contrast based on movement. This technology can be combined with existing single-energy and dual-energy X-ray imaging methods, opening new possibilities in port security applications.

One important application of the dynamic imaging technology could be finding stowaway pests in the cargo. Stowaway pests travel hidden within transported goods and may damage the cargo while being shipped. In addition to this, potentially invasive species often travel as stowaway pests and arrive to new territories unnoticed. Although better part of these exotics are harmless, approximately 20 to 30 percent of the introduced species are pests and cause major environmental and economic problems. Read the full article here! Source: Porttechnology.com

Today, there are many different security inspection technologies available. These technologies may be combined in an attempt to achieve a better result. How the systems are combined strongly affects the results achieved, and different applications may require different combinations. This paper will examine several examples.There are three major applications for screening technology today: Revenue enhancement, contraband detection, and nuclear weapons of mass destruction detection (WMD). Several technologies that can be used are: Portal monitors, gamma ray imagers, high-energy X-ray imagers, and neutron systems. Matching the application and the technology correctly is critical. Port Technology International has published a paper on port security optimization, which addresses the various technologies and approaches towards optimisation of threats, namely revenue, weapons of mass destruction, and contraband highlighting the need for layered technology inspection systems to reduce false positives and enhance enforcement detection capabilities. Read the paper here! Source: Porttechnology.org

A US statutory requirement to scan all incoming containers at foreign ports will take effect at the beginning of July, a date thrown into sharp relief as the House of Representatives homeland security committee approved a revamped bill that retains the clause.

The draft bill gave the industry minor cause for cheer for unrelated reasons, as it will postpone the requirement for workers to renew their transportation worker identification cards in the absence of Department of Homeland Security regulations on biometric card readers. But the 100% scanning requirement has proved its resilience yet again.

Since 2006 shippers, spearheaded by associations that include the National Retail Federation, have been campaigning to get the requirement eliminated on grounds that it is impractical and costly and could trigger foreign government retaliation against cargoes originating from the US. US homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano has pointed out the impracticality of the law and proposed a two-year postponement.

These calls went unheeded in the house, as the homeland security committee on Wednesday approved the Securing Maritime Activities through Risk-based Targeting for Port Security Act, known as the Smart Port Security Act. The Smart Port Security Act reauthorises the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act, known as the Safe Port Act, which became law in 2007.

The Safe Port Act implements the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations, including the contentious provision that all US-bound containers will be scanned at origin from July 2012. A fig leaf in the Safe Port Act allows the homeland security secretary to grant waivers to individual ports, under conditions that are somewhat vague. Last year, a Safe port reauthorisation draft in the Senate proposed a broad waiver of the 100% scanning requirement.

With the clock now ticking to July 1, shippers were particularly anxious to get the house bill to remove the 100% scanning clause permanently.

The homeland security committee passed a version that allows DHS to recognise other countries’ trusted shipper programmes and allows the US Coast Guard to recognise other governments’ port security threat assessments, but stops short of jettisoning the 100% scanning clause.

Republican congresswoman Candice Miller, chair of the subcommittee on border and maritime security, hailed the new bill, saying: “Securing our waterways is an essential component of a layered approach to security.

“This bill enhances risk-based security measures overseas before the threat reaches our shores, emphasising a stronger collaborative environment between customs and border protection and the US Coast Guard in sharing port security duties and leveraging the maritime security work of our trusted allies.”

Comment: Huh!, to whom does this refer? Such a statement flies in the face of its own C-TPAT program and bilateral overtures with foreign ports (supposedly based on risk). Perhaps its time for the ‘trusted allies’ to deport CSI teams who have not necessarily endeared themselves to their respective host nations.

Source: Lloydslist.com