Out beyond the horizon, Tracking the elusive shipping container
|The world is a very different place out beyond the horizon. Even as you read this, there are some 40,000 large cargo ships plying the world’s waterways and oceans,|
In what can be a very murky world of shadowy ship registry offices, lengthy manifests, and dockhands who change out faster than Barbosa’s crew, how all these ships come by their cargo, how that cargo is loaded, by what polyglot seamen and in what untamed ports, can be an amazingly scrambled and trackless story rivaling the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Scenario: A single ship starts out in Singapore with containers filled with electronics, passes through Indonesia where it picks up spices, sails to Calcutta to load cotton, Port Said where it boards an Egyptian crew, Piraeus where it stops for fuel, Tangier where it picks up leathers, Scotland where it packs in woolen sweaters, and finally sets sail for Newark, New Jersey. Eleven million containers packed with such goods reach U.S. ports every year.
At any point in a merchant ship’s journey, pry open container XYZ mid-ocean, and what might you find" When you can’t be sure, that spells danger. The possibility that a single container has gone purposefully astray and might now be packed with explosives, or loaded with a virulent biologic destined for our shores, is not a fictional scenario. (In 1988, it was an Al Qaeda merchant ship that delivered the materials needed to bomb U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. That same ship was never seen again.)
Given lots of time, customs agents could find all contraband. But, in the world of maritime shipping, time is the enemy. Try delaying a delivery, and you may face some rough characters down at the docks (think On the Waterfront). What's more, anything that hinders the swift transit of goods around the world can have a rippling effect on the world’s economy.
Ultimately, MATTS will be integrated with S&T’s Advanced Container Security Device. The ACSD sends an alert through MATTS when a container has been opened or tampered with on any side, providing even more security.
“MATTS will globally communicate in-transit alerts to Customs and Border Protection, and this capability satisfies a high-priority CBP requirement,” says Bob Knetl, Program Manager for the MATTS research within S&T’s Borders and Maritime Division.
In late April 2007, one hundred MATTS-equipped containers started out in the Port of Yokohama, Japan, and are now making their trans-Pacific crossing to the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach, where they will then continue by rail to the Rochelle, Illinois, Rail Terminal and be unloaded and trucked to their final destination. This test, ending in August, will demonstrate that the communications can be used internationally (in this case, by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation) and that transitioning to domestic drayage once portside in Long Beach also runs smoothly.
MATTS was developed under a DHS S&T Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by iControl Incorporated, a small Santa Clara, CA-based company.
“A serious threat is posed by the cargo that containers may hold,” says Vinny Schaper, SBIR Program manager. “We have to view the ocean with grave concern, and realize that a maritime attack is not beyond the realm of possibility and if it comes, it will probably involve the use of merchant ships. Eleven million containers a year are brought onto our docks. Interrupt this with a terrorist attack, and the backup would reach around the world.” ###
Contact: Gail Cleere firstname.lastname@example.org 202-255-4070 US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology
Technorati Tags: US Department of Homeland Security or shipping container and Marine Asset Tag Tracking System and Advanced Container Security Device or cargo ships and GPS tracking system or Presidential Podcast 08/25/07 and Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France and Beyond batteries: Storing power in a sheet of paper VIDEO
|Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Right Pundits, Blog at MoreWhat.com|
Trackback URL: http://haloscan.com/tb/sookietex/3101321188345501403
31 Trackbacks to this Post
South Korean Guests of Taliban to be Released; Unt Excerpt: According to The Korea Herald:"The Taliban will set free all 19 South Koreans taken hostage in Afghanistan since ... Weblog: DeMediacratic Nation Tracked: 08.28.07 - 5:45 am
The Clinton China Connection - Paw Family Donates Excerpt: "William Paw, the 64-year-old head of the household, is a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service who earns about $49,000 a year, Weblog: DeMediacratic Nation Tracked: 08.28.07 - 7:02 am
Nuristan PRT celebrates Afghan Independence Day Excerpt: FOB KALAGUSH, Afghanistan - Just like the people of the U.S., the people of Afghanistan are very proud of their independence, which means Aug. 19 is a date marked by celebration. When the people of Nuristan province were invited to celebrate the U.S.... Weblog: Rosemary's Thoughts Tracked: 08.28.07 - 7:30 am
Ahmadinejad is right, so what will the US do? Excerpt: A power vacuum is imminent in Iraq and Iran is ready to help fill the gap, says Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. No kidding. Isn't this what he has been working toward for the past year, by sending in his military, Weblog: Right Truth Tracked: 08.28.07 - 7:33 am
Finding a New World Order of Peaceful Coexistence: Excerpt: President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the leader of that bastion of humane treatment told a press conference recently:&l ... Weblog: DeMediacratic Nation Tracked: 08.28.07 - 8:10 am
CommonSenseAmerica Man Wanted for Rape of 4-Year-Old May Be Headed Back to Mexico… Oklahoma: BRYAN COUNTY, Okla. — Durant Police are looking for 25-year-old Jose Retana, a man they say raped a four-year-old girl. Police responded to the call late Tuesday night after the child was taken by her parents to the Medical Center of S… 08.28.07 Today 08:31am
CommonSenseAmerica Mother and Son Stop Man Raping 5-year-old Girl… Indiana: INDIANAPOLIS — Police said a woman interrupted a 19-year-old man’s rape of her 5-year-old daughter and, with the help of her son, held him in her home until officers arrived early Friday morning. According to police, Jesus Valenzue 08.29.07 08:42am
DeMediacratic Nation South Korean Guests of Taliban to be Released; Unt… According to The Korea Herald:”The Taliban will set free all 19 South Koreans taken hostage in Afghanistan since …… 08.28.07 09:45am
Round-up of Michael Yon's articles Excerpt: For those of you who do not who Michael Yon is, he is a citizen journalist who has been in Iraq and Afghanistan for most of the war with the only support coming from you and me. He is giving us the news that most 'journalists' are afraid to go fo ...... Weblog: Rosemary's Thoughts Tracked: 08.28.07 - 9:52 am
Conservative Thoughts WaPo, Other MSM Won’t Run ‘Opus’ Cartoon Mocking Radical Islam… More censorship of cartoons by the MSM because it might offend radical Islamists. From Foxnews The Washington Post and several other newspapers around the country did not run Sunday’s installment of Berkeley Breathed’s “Opus,” i… 08.28.07 10:12am
The AFLAC Scam Excerpt: While the three younger ones, all appearing sweet and innocent, divert their "mark" (or intended target) with a show of friendliness , the fourth -- the eldest -- sneaks in from behind the person's back to expertly rifle through his or her pockets a... Weblog: Planck's Constant Tracked: 08.28.07 - 1:02 pm
CommonSenseAmerica Missouri Governor: “We cannot wait for Washington to stop unlawful immigration”… In a press release yesterday, Missouri Republican Governor Matt Blunt introduced his new strategy for Missouri: Gov. Blunt Announces New Directives to Fight Illegal Immigration Blunt: “We cannot wait for Washington to stop unlawful immigration... 8 08.28.07 2:43 pm
CAIR: Media Cowers in Face of Islamist Threat Excerpt: An Anti-CAIR Blogburst. On August 24th, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), issued a â€œNews Releaseâ€ trumpeting the role CAIR played in getting the Christian TV program â€œLive Prayer with Bill Kellerâ€ off the air in Tampa, Florida. ... Weblog: The Amboy Times Tracked: 08.28.07 - 6:25 pm
Pirate's Cove PETA Smacked For Smacking Vick… Don’t think that this is saying what Vick did is in any part OK. He did horrible things, he is a horrible person, and he should spend some good time in jail. At least 2-3. It is amazing to me, as a sidebar, that he could get anywhere from a year … 08.28.07 7:04 pm
"Mahmoud Ahmedinejad: Domesticated Male" It's good to see Ahmedinejad wearing an apron! Just imagine the diplomatic coup he and Bush could score if they put everything aside long enough to make a joint meal: Texas barbecue and Persian cuisine on the same table Diary of the Mad Pigeon trackbacked at 08.28.07 8:38 pm
Ask Andrea Summer’s End Edition of the Carnival of Christian Advice… The kids who didn’t go back to the books last week (or earlier) will be heading back tomorrow and the corn is vanishing from the fields as the harvest comes upon us. And we’re celebrating by getting back into the swing of things again, too … 08.28.07 10:05 pm
Adam's Blog Mr. Indispensable… No one’s indispensable, and that includes a well-accomplished 3 term US Senator. Larry Craig (R-ID) rightly described his actions as bringing a cloud over Idaho. With the Republican Leadership in the Senate including Minority Leader Mitch McConne… 08.28.07 12:03 am
Leaning Straight Up The Clinton Campaign offers us a lesson on how to launder campaign donations… Is this coincidence or is this a scheme to ‘launder’ campaign donations? I believe it is a carefully arranged way to direct money to campaigns, bypassing campaign donation limits, and not a coincidence. And likely, perfectly legal 08.29.07 02:37 am.
Leaning Straight Up MSNBC and CNBC: No pro war ads allowed… Via Powerline: MSNBC, CNBC Refuse to Run Pro-War Ads We wrote here about the television commercials that Freedom’s Watch has produced, featuring veterans and their families, that urge Congress and the public to continue supporting t… 08.29.07 02:51 am.
Conservative Cat The Mathematics of Being Soft on Crime… The government of the Netherlands is starting a $38 million government program to combat extremism. Extremism in this case is defined as either right-wing nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism. The new program is designed to combat the root causes of … 08.29.07 03:41 am
Leaning Straight Up Breaking news: Top Clinton donor wanted on swindling charges… His name should be familiar. I just blogged about his nifty donation laundereing scheme. Is this coincidence or is this a scheme to ‘launder’ campaign donations? I believe it is a carefully arranged way to direct money to c… 08.29.07 05:38 am.
"Illegal Aliens Flee Arizona Ahead of New Enforcement Law" Which clearly proves that enforcement works! Even the thought of impending enforcement works. It isn’t rocket science for goodness sake and we can only hope - and demand - that our elected officials take note and have the will and the courage t... CommonSenseAmerica trackbacked at 08.29.07 7:38 am
Right Voices “If the Iranian missiles strike Israel, by Allah, I will go to Trafalgar Square and dance with delight.”… If things don’t work out, I bet this guy could get a job at CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, CNBS, MSNBC, NYT’s, WaPo, Boston Globe, LA Times, or USA Today 08.29.07 11:22 am
Big Dogs Weblog John Edwards and MY SUV… John Edwards, the queen of hypocrisy, today announced that he wants Americans to give up their SUVs and he thinks that this sacrifice is one Americans are willing to make…… 08.29.07 1:20 pm
A Few Shiny Pebbles Battlefields: the Good and the True—Part I… (I have been posting infrequently during the past few weeks because of family needs that had to be met. I’ll be posting more regularly now.) We are bombarded from every side with warnings and even threats about Global Warming. I’ll…… 08.29.07 6:06 pm
Blog at morewhat.com Hillary Rodham Clinton: Public Opinions… …commentary from the public on Hillary Rodham Clinton. Feel free to submit your own. …… 08.29.07 7:44 pm
Leaning Straight Up More Democratic campaign donation $candal$… So why so much focus just on Democratic scandals? Because they annoy me pointing the finger at the corruption in the Republican party when their house is just as dirty. They claim to be the party of the working class and accuse the Repu… 08.30.07 05:08 am
Leaning Straight Up Clinton to ditch Hsu’s money… My initial reaction was to laugh. Damage control. But a part of me has to wonder why. Afterall, the money he raised was legal right? So why act as though it was tainted? Clinton Donor Under a Cloud in Fraud Case Senator Hi… 08.30.07 05:33 am
The World According To Carl Says...Godly Wisdom — August 30, 2007… Control What You Say And When You Say It …… 08.30.07 12:45 pm
A Few Shiny Pebbles Decisions on Energy Usage… Thinking about unintended consequences yesterday in my post, reminded me about something I read in the early 90s. I think this article, Road to Nowhere, makes several crucial points about the unintended consequences of ignoring information that is alre… 08.31.07 02:16 am
Leaning Straight Up Finger pointing and excuses begin in the VA tech probe… Let the excuses begin. The School and the Government are going to vigorously defend themselves and blame the other. I am going to deconstruct this dreck in detail. At the bottom, I will note the real solution which the panel… 08.31.07 04:27 am