Maritime security needs more attention

More focus on port and terminal security required.

Maritime security needs more attention


When most Americans think of threats to the homeland, they often think of the transportation sector. After all, terrorists used four commercial airplanes as weapons to attack the U.S. on 9/11, and struck public transit systems in London and Madrid in the years that followed. While air travel and mass transit should remain areas of high focus, the maritime transportation environment is an area of homeland security that needs equal attention.

In early November, I brought a group of industry executives to tour the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The attendees were struck by the size, complexity, and economic significance of the operations at the two largest seaports in North America. We live in a society that is highly dependent on the just-in-time arrival of goods produced across the globe. As the world gets “flatter” and the supply chain gets longer, the traffic coming into our ports is dramatically increasing. U.S. seaports are critical transportation gateways for international commerce, and they handle more than $1.3 trillion in cargo annually.

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