The events of 9 / 11, and the resulting reaction from concerned governments, placed a great emphasis on securing supply chains. The focus has been shifted from cargo theft to terrorist attacks. Furthermore, because of the integration of world trade, the high volumes of containers and the routinely performed cargo inspections provide opportunities for criminal activities, e.g. smuggling of unauthorised goods into a container at several stages of the supply chain.
Taking the above paragraph into account, a variety of different unilateral and multilateral security measures and regulations, as well as other security initiatives have been developed or were under consideration in countries worldwide. Given that world trade is largely dependent on maritime and containerised transport, the focus has been directed at enhancing maritime transport chains and at addressing the particular challenges posed by containerised supply chains. The different regulations and initiatives in various countries and from various international and multinational organisations and governments posed a challenge for companies to comply with these requirements and could add tremendously to the costs of the exchange of goods on a global scale. Prior to 9 / 11, governmental focus was mainly on trade facilitation and harmonisation of trade rules and practices. After 9 / 11, global trade experienced an extreme change in its paradigms from facilitation and harmonisation to security and anti-terrorist measures. At cargo security, prior to 9 / 11, customs authorities were responsible primarily for clearing imported goods, after goods arrived at the border. In recent years, pre-arrival information in a defined quality is state-of-the-art, was sometimes requested even before cargo was loaded onto means of transport enabling refusal of single containers to be unloaded at destination port.
There were two contradictory trends in global transport (which were also valid for the segment of containers and other ILUs ) that had to be aligned in the most efficient way assuring free trade and assuring transport security. Thus, it was essential that private end-users and public end-users worked together on the improvement of supply chain security to ensure public safety and security as well as the efficient flow of goods.
IMCOSEC Integrated approach to IMprove the supply chain for COntainer transport and integrated SECurity was simultaneously a risk based approach to identify and characterise the security gaps. The preventive measures were to be discussed and a guiding concept for demonstrations in phase II would be defined, with the aim of making the supply chains more secure in their totality without major negative impacts on their performance and without creating unjustifiable additional cost. An optimal solution was to be the creation of win-win situations between industry and administration and would not imply as much security as possible, but as much security as was needed and acceptable. Acceptance was one of the most important issues on the sustainability of the strategic roadmap to be developed. Therefore the consortium results were discussed, reflected on and validated by a series of international workshops with stakeholders and the projects' Advisory Board involving additional stakeholders from private end-users and public end-users. This was to mainly contribute to European wide awareness and shall ensure that the target processes defined and technologies assembled were applicable in the real world business.
The partners were well experienced in the sector either from its logistics or from its security angle. The Consortium included international associations, security consultants and research institutions, experts from the maritime and inland/combined transport, as well as an operator of a container security platform.
IMCOSEC was guided by the following approach:
- identification and categorisation of security regulations, standards and trends;
- identification of security gaps based on a generic process model for supply chains using a resilience matrix approach and threat trees;
- identification and assembly of security projects, technologies and industry needs;
- elaboration of target processes for minimising identified gaps;
- provision of a roadmap for demonstration activities where target processes and supporting technologies could establish efficiency, effectiveness and acceptance.
IMCOSEC created a generic transport model representing essential processes and activities along investigated ILU transport chains.
It identified and summarised existing relevant security regulations, standards and trends providing an insight into the multiplicity and diversity of security initiatives and programmes, and made an overview of these regulations and standards.
It identified possible security threats and weaknesses along the supply chain and put them into a resilience matrix.
It identified and assembled the state-of-the-art in supply chain research and existing initiatives which were relevant to the IMCOSEC-project in terms of security, efficiency, logistics and information management.
It provided a deeper analysis of the security gaps in the supply chain and provided measures for dealing with those security gaps.
It also contributed to the development of a strategic roadmap dealing with the security in the supply chain.