Container Security Initiative

Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Dennis has more facts on port security you are not likely to see anywhere else. Such as:

The four core elements of CSI are:
• Identify high-risk containers. CBP uses automated targeting tools to identify containers that pose a potential risk for terrorism, based on advance information and strategic intelligence.
• Prescreen and evaluate containers before they are shipped. Containers are screened as early in the supply chain as possible, generally at the port of departure.
• Use technology to prescreen high-risk containers to ensure that screening can be done rapidly without slowing down the movement of trade. This technology includes large-scale X-ray and gamma ray machines and radiation detection devices.
• Use smarter, more secure containers, which will allow CBP officers at United States ports of arrival to identify containers that have been tampered with during transit.

CBP’s goal is to have 50 operational CSI ports by the end of fiscal year 2006. At that time, approximately 90 percent of all transatlantic and transpacific cargo imported into the United States will be subjected to prescreening. CSI continues to expand to strategic locations around the world. The World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union (EU), and the G8 support CSI expansion and have adopted resolutions implementing CSI security measures introduced at ports throughout the world.

CSI is a reciprocal program and offers its participant countries the opportunity to send their customs officers to major U.S. ports to target ocean-going, containerized cargo being exported to their countries. Likewise, CBP shares information on a bilateral basis with its CSI partners. Japan and Canada currently station their customs personnel in some U.S. ports as part of the CSI program. Information sharing between the U.S. and other Customs Services enhances the ability of both services to identify all containers that pose a potential threat.

42 CSI ports are currently operational:

Canada - Halifax, Montreal, and Vancouver.
The Netherlands - Rotterdam.
France - Le Havre and Marseille.
Germany - Bremerhaven and Hamburg.
Belgium - Antwerp and Zeebrugge.
Singapore - Singapore.
Japan - Yokohama, Tokyo, Nagoya and Kobe.
Hong Kong - Hong Kong.
Sweden - Gothenburg.
U.K. - Felixstowe, Liverpool, Thamesport, Tilbury, and Southampton.
Italy - Genoa, La Spezia, Livorno, Naples and Gioia Tauro.
Korea - Pusan.
South Africa - Durban.
Malaysia - Port Klang and Tanjung Pelepas.
Greece - Piraeus.
Spain - Algeciras.
Thailand - Laem Chabang.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) - Dubai.
China - Shanghai, Shenzhen and Kaohsiung.
Brazil - Santos.
Sri Lanka - Colombo.
Argentina - Buenos Aires.
Portugal - Lisbon

Facts about CSI from DtP .


Skookumchuk said...


Laem Chabang? Now didn't the Stylistics backup singers or somebody use that phrase in their lyrics?

The port security programs involve all the big players, with the notable exception of China - so far, anyway. Nobody wants to disrupt the global conveyor belts.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

I understand that The Nederlands has a completely automated port system and that every single container is x-rayed. Period. I see absolutely no reason other than the usual political BS why the same thing cannot be applied in the US. If we don't, and if a bad container gets through, the blood will be on the hands of the obstructors.

terrye said...


I heard that there will be more and more x-ray work done here. But I also heard that since we do not have an automated system but instead use people....that it slows down the process and that may have something to do with why more of it has not been done by now.

I heard some financier say that if we checked 100% of the containers coming into the US it would stop trade cold.

Remember back when the Longshoremen went on strike in Seattle over plans to automate the port there? And people were freaking out they would not be able to get Christman presents? Management wanted the same kind of system as Singapore which moved containers a whole lot faster. and the unions fought it because it meant fewer people.

I have no idea what the hold up really is, but suffice to say we move a whole lot more stuff than the Netherlands. But you are right, this needs to get better.

Skookumchuk said...


Hmm. The Netherlands certainly does have highly automated container terminals, though others are no more automated than those in the US. And it is my understanding (and I may be wrong) they still don't inspect everything at all terminals. I'm wondering where you got that info from.

But your larger point is well taken. The more automated the terminal and the shorter the overall processing time of a container, the less the competitive cost impact due to the delays of an inspection, especially if the inspection process is itself quick and doesn't involve lengthy queuing and all that.

Terrye is right. The secret is to minimize the cost. Container cargo is "discretionary", that is, there are usually several routes by which you can get from A to B. If the Port of X for whatever combination of reasons takes 90 minutes to get a truck in and out while the Port of Y does it in 10, well, we know where the cargo will end up. And, being efficient, The Port of Y can afford a 5 minute inspection and the associated 15 minute driver queuing time.

So in America, our being less automated than we should be makes it less likely - politically less likely - that more intensive inspections will be adopted.