The Container Security Initiative and Ocean Container Threats

Published In: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, v. 4, no. 1, Mar. 2007

by Jon D. Haveman, Ethan M. Jennings, Howard J. Shatz, Greg C. Wright

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Following September 11, 2001, U.S. policymakers created programs to protect the maritime supply chain. This paper analyzes one program, the Container Security Initiative, which inspects high-risk U.S.-bound containers at foreign ports. Although covering a small proportion of all ports that ship imports to the United States, the CSI has expanded rapidly and as of early 2006 covered two-thirds of U.S. containerized imports. However, CSI coverage of imports from potential terrorism source countries was lower than the overall U.S. average. Security planners can strengthen container-related maritime security by focusing on dangerous source regions and likely terrorist shipping routes.

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