Issues, Challenges and National Policies
- Comparative Perspectives on Transportation Security series
Edited by Khalid Bichou, Joseph S. Szyliowicz and Luca Zamparini
Chapter 4: Economic issues in maritime transport security
The maritime sector is definitely a pivotal one nowadays in economic systems. The large majority of international trade is carried by sea (80 per cent by volume according to the 2012 Review of Maritime Transport by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)). Consequently, a high degree of security of the routes of vessels and ports, which are the critical links of globalized supply chains, is not only important for the maritime industry but also for many other sectors of the economy. A terrorist attack to a main port may not only cause damages to the port itself but would also paralyse, at least for a certain amount of time, world maritime trade. However, the deployment of security measures entails direct and indirect costs that must be borne by one or more of the stakeholders (that is, ports, shipping companies, insurance agencies) that are involved in the maritime industry. Maritime transport security and trade efficiency are two intertwined issues in the development of regional and global supply chains. There appears to be a lack of general consensus about the effects of increased security on efficiency and seamlessness of maritime trade. Some authors argue (see, among others, Thai, 2007) that the fulfillment of tighter security requirements can generate remarkable benefits in terms of enhanced service quality due to increased reliability of services, higher efficiency in operation and management, and also in terms of social responsibility awareness.
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