Glimpse into SST Working Operations Shown

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WASH) recently hosted a press conference that demonstrated the operational benefits of Smart and Secure Tradelanes -- the first automated global network that improves the security and efficiency of cargo containers shipped into the United States. In a live demo with real-time information, Sen. Murray showed how highly sophisticated electronic seals locking 40-foot-long cargo containers can send automated alerts to a global software network about the container's identity, location and security status at key checkpoints in the supply chain.

Sen. Murray emphasized that the performance of Smart and Secure Tradelanes since it was launched last summer exemplifies the kind of government-industry partnership she envisioned when she created Operation Safe Commerce funding, expected to be allocated in the second quarter. Participating in the press conference were Mic Dinsmore, CEO of the Port of Seattle; Timothy J. Farrell, Dep. E.D., Port of Tacoma; Rear Adm. Errol Brown, District Commander, 13th Coast Guard District; Tom Harry, director Northwest/Great Plains Customs Management Center, U.S. Customs Service; Steven Froehlich, director of Stakeholder Relations for Maritime and Land Security, Transportation Security Administration; Vic Verma, chairman and CEO of Savi Technology Inc.; and, Gary Gilbert, corporate adviser of Hutchison Port Holdings and a member of the Strategic Council on Security Technology.

Flanked by two cargo containers and standing next to a screen projecting real-time information from the software, Sen. Murray electronically unsealed one container with a handheld device and opened it up to reveal about 1,260 Hello Kitty radios and AM/FM cassette recorders that had just been shipped from Hong Kong to Seattle. The screen immediately recorded the "unsealing event" as well as showed a complete audit trail of the container's journey from a consolidation center near the Port of Hong Kong and its status at key locations to the Port of Seattle, where it will then be trucked to a de-consolidation point where the contents will be distributed to retail outlets throughout the Northwest.

Next, to demonstrate what happens when an electronically sealed container is violated, the locking mechanism was breached without proper authorization and procedures. This immediately and simultaneously set off automated alerts that could be viewed on the software, audio alarms and calls to various cell phones in the audience that an unauthorized "tampering event" had just occurred. The demonstration showed that a combination of radio frequency identification smart tags (electronic seals) wirelessly linked to Web-based software provide real-time visibility, detection of events as they happen, and automatically create an audit trail of containers and their contents.

More than 200 containers have been shipped under the auspices of the Smart and Secure Tradelanes initiative, which includes more than 35 partners involved in all aspects of cargo container shipping, including the world's largest port operators (Hutchison Port Holdings, P&O Ports and PSA Corporation), household name shippers, and major service and technology providers.

Since launched last summer by the Strategic Council on Security Technology, a global catalyst and advisory group for supply chain security, Smart and Secure Tradelanes has rolled out hardware and software infrastructure at a dozen major ports worldwide, creating a common information platform where real-time information can be viewed on shipments secured with electronic seals.

SOURCE: Strategic Council on Security Technology; 605-537-3731.

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