Maritime Shipping Container Security and the Defense Transportation System: Problems and Policy in the 21st Century [open pdf - 934KB]
The Defense Transportation System (DTS), led by the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC), depends on the commercial maritime industry to provide movement of supplies and equipment around the world. The maritime shipping container is a critical asset in providing for this logistical support to the war fighter abroad. These 20- or 40-foot containers have become the backbone of the maritime industry, and will continue to proliferate as global commerce continues to expand. Containers are an indispensable but vulnerable link in the chain of global trade; approximately 90 percent of the world's cargo moves by container. Because of DoD's dependency on the maritime industry and these containers, it will and must continue to ride the wave of commercial practices, specifically in pursuit of better security throughout the maritime industry. In the wake of September 11, 2001, and with the new threats of WMD, the maritime shipping container may become a weapons delivery system. This thesis documented the need for security improvements for the maritime shipping container in protecting global commerce and DoD cargo shipments. Comprehensive reviews of government reports, books, articles, and Internet based materials, as well as interviews with MTMC personnel, have indicated that DoD is taking a series of measures to meet these challenges. DoD's Defense Transportation System and the commercial maritime industry will be challenged and tested by new policy requirements. MTMC has already adopted new business processes, cargo manifest requirements, and technological innovations that assure customers in-transit visibility and total asset visibility (ITV/TAV), including the Intelligent Road-Rail Information Server (IRRIS) system.
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