Issues, Challenges and National Policies
Comparative Perspectives on Transportation Security series
Edited by Khalid Bichou, Joseph S. Szyliowicz and Luca Zamparini
The fact that container security is a critical factor in global supply chains is universally accepted. However, the methodology to measure it and the means to reduce associated risks is widely disputed. The disagreements become even more stringent when the tangible costs and time factors rise sharply without any clearly perceivable benefits of risk reduction. The responsibility and liability for container security failure complicates the issue even further. Globally at present, the majority of the containers are stuffed/de-stuffed at the dry ports located further away from gateway sea ports. The authority to permit the stuffing and allow transportation of a container lies with Customs who also set the standards of security at a dry port. Customs could be rigorous in ensuring that the dry ports religiously adhere to the set rules for container security. However, our research reveals that this is not done in the interest of commerce. This chapter evaluates container security at 26 Indian dry ports located in five different regions to see what impact stringent container inspections by Customs will have on associated risks, either with or without apportioning liability of the dry port operator (DPO). We conclude that container security by itself is unlikely to be enhanced in the absence of suitable security policies in place that unambiguously and firmly saddle the DPO with commensurate liability for container security failure.
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