Secure Freight Initiative of SFI is a program developed by the Department of Homeland Security of the United States. SFI has an objective to ensure the security of cargos under the Container Security Initiative and the security of the importers. SFI is enforced with the help of technology using radiation for the inspection of containers in the ports (Secure Freight Initiative, 2015).
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This kind of inspection is perceived to be more efficient due to its non-intrusive character. The function of Secure Freight Initiative is to make sure that the shipments coming from abroad are safe. In other words, the main objective of SFI is risk prevention.
Currently, the program is at the test stage. It is employed in such foreign ports as Port Qasim in Pakistan, Southampton in the United Kingdom, and Puerto Cortes in Honduras (Secure Freight Initiative, 2015). Soon, ports in Korea, Singapore and Oman are planning to become a part of the program.
There are several potential vulnerabilities to disruption under SFI:
- Slowed down inspection due to the new system and technology that is unfamiliar to the users and is likely to have multiple malfunctions during the first years of use.
- The absence of a fixed protocol outlining clear instructions as to the ports’ actions in various situations, constant change of protocols, and the need to wait for the response from the United States.
- The potential decrease in the popularity of the ports that are using the new technology as its malfunctions and delays may make the ports unattractive for the clients so they would develop different routes avoiding these ports.
C-TPAT or Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism serves to protect that global trades for the threats presented by the terrorism and provide security to the United States and the countries around (C-TPAT: Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, n. d.). One of the challenges C-TPAT faces is the provision of security and safeguarding trading operations without slowing down the economic interactions between the countries.
Unlike SFI focusing only on the maritime cargo transportation, C-TPAT covers the representatives of all transportation modes cruising between the USA and its neighbors such as Canada and Mexico (C-TPAT: Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, n. d.). Ever since the partnership first began to function in 2001, multiple entities have joined. Today, the partnership is going beyond the borders of the USA and the surrounding countries turning into a global initiative.
The participators of C-TPAT are obliged to protect their supply chain. In terms of the port security, C-TPAT faces such challenges as the allocation of space for the scanning equipment, the maintenance of the equipment in ports that are situated in the third world states (it is important to keep in mind that many of the world’s countries have extreme weather conditions), funding and financing of the project in terms of the purchase of the equipment, additional staffing, and coaching.
In addition, C-TPAT has to deal with the privacy concerns as the cargo scanning operations assume working with very important data that requires appropriate protection. In fact, even the procedure of entering C-TPAT by different participants relies on the collection of privacy data about the traders’ and carriers’ backgrounds.
All of the challenges mentioned above slow down the trading operations and make the potential participants reluctant about joining C-TPAT. As a result, to avoid the disruption of the trading operations, the partnership is to develop a set of clear policies and rules as to the areas representing challenges.
C-TPAT: Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. (n. d.). Retrieved from https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry/cargo-security/ctpat
Secure Freight Initiative. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.dhs.gov/secure-freight-initiative