Study: Air cargo security seriously lacking

Research from the International Transfer Center for Logistics and the Technische Universität of Berlin finds lack of regulations and security awareness makes cargo risk high

There are serious security problems in international air cargo transportation and the controls around it, according to a report released this week by the International Transfer Center for Logistics and the Technische Universität of Berlin (See also: What New Air Cargo Security Rules Mean for Business).

The research, which was commissioned by the World Cargo Center GmbH in Frankfurt, surveyed third-party distribution companies and freight handlers that provide supply chain services about their security controls and perception of security risk (For perspective on U.S. cargo security see Port and Cargo Security: How is the US Doing?) The report claims a lack of standardized regulations in air and freight security are driving many of the problems, and 56 percent of companies surveyed said the lack of consistency in this area is their biggest security challenge. A lack of security awareness among staff was cited by 61 percent of freight handlers as a problem. Technology and buildings were alos named as areas of weakness: 24 percent of service providers and 39 percent of freight handlers consider the surveillance technology in air freight centers to be inadequate. Additionally, 28 percent of companies and 56 percent of freight handlers criticized the entrance controls to freight centers.

The study also found lack of security controls are a bigger problem for small-and-medium-sized logistics service providers. While 82 percent of industrial companies which export a high proportion of goods regard security precautions as an integral part of logistical processes, only 59 percent of small-and-medium-sized service providers attach the same importance, the study found.

The study specifically looked at European regulation and found that 80 percent of those surveyed thought the requirements of EU security regulations delay urgent air freight and drive costs high. Most companies, 77 percent, and 83 percent of freight handlers said that security requirements account for up to ten per cent of all logistics costs.

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