Securing a Supply Chain

Read this executive summary and introduction as a guide addressing security, its importance, the major players, logistics requirements, as well as the overall vision.



This - (SCS) Guide is intended for Trade and Transport Government officials, Port Authorities and Transport, Cargo and Logistics Communities, in particular in developing countries. The guide will in broad terms describe all components of SCS and will preliminarily be directed toward Port and Trading Communities at large, but making references to other modes and nodal points as well.

This document is not an exhaustive encyclopedia of all the aspects of supply chain security.

Following the prevailing trend in the industry, the guide gives more attention to the maritime containerized transport than to other sectors or modes of transport, as it is currently the most evolutive sector.

The purpose of the guide is to make concerned trade and transport-related officials, managers and personnel in developing countries acquainted with, and aware of, the many initiatives mushrooming in the field of supply chain security, what these will mean for their respective organizations, and how to tackle the inlaid challenges.

The main avenues presently explored in the pursuit of security in the supply chain are:

  • The early detection of threats through the timely acquisition, analysis and validation of cargo information by the relevant Government Agencies, using advance cargo information broadcast and a consistent risk management system
  • The certification or credentialing of the actors of the supply chain, to ensure that only legitimate, bona fide entities or individuals with an adequate security awareness and self- discipline actively participate to the supply chain. This ideally implies that mechanisms are in place for the mutual recognition by Governments of their respective certification programs
  • The use of appropriate, sustainable technology to enable enforcement agencies to timely and speedily screen or examine a larger portion of the commercial flows, while facilitating the flows of legitimate trade.
  • The improvement of cargo and container integrity during the whole transport cycle, centered on seals, track and trace, positioning and scanning technologies.
  • A set of international regulations covering the tracking of vessels at sea, the interface between merchant vessels and ports and the security of the port facilities.

These five elements form what is being called a multi-layered approach. This approach is the one supported by the most active SCS drivers, namely the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the World Customs Organization (WCO). The respective layers focus on different segments of the supply chain, providing multi-angle assessments of the cargo and ensuring that security does not rely on any single point that could be compromised. The idea is that the layers complement each other and reinforce the whole.

Figure 1-1 Layered Approach

24 hours Manifest "10+2" Advance Cargo information Risk Management

  1. Early detection
  2. Certification & credentialing
  3. Scanning technology
  4. Container integrity
  5. ISPS International Ship & Port Security Code, vessel tracking at sea AIS/LRIT