ISO and Smart and Secure Tradelanes Forge Strategic Partnership to Secure Global Supply Chains

May 1, 2003
Geneva, Switzerland, - Alan Bryden, Secretary-General of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding

Geneva, Switzerland, - Alan Bryden, Secretary-General of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with General John Coburn, USA (Ret.), Chairman of the Strategic Council on Security Technology, on 31 March 2003, agreeing that ISO would become a partner with the Strategic Council on Security Technology in their Smart and Secure Tradelanes initiative as a basis for the international pilot program announced by ISO's technical committee on ships and marine technology (ISO/TC8) in November 2001 at the 22nd Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and updated at the SOLAS Diplomatic Conference of IMO in December 2002.

The program was conceived and launched by ISO/TC8 and will address the identification of existing security gaps as well as propose solutions to global intermodal supply chain security concerns through the development of standards for implementation by the international trade community which will also be presented to the International Maritime Organization for consideration in their Circulars and Conventions.

The ISO/TC8 program includes an International Advisory Group comprised of senior management of major international organizations, such as, IMO, ILO, WCO, ICS, IAASP, ICC, IICL, ICCL and WNTI; the Ambassador to IMO from Panama; the European Union Commission; the Council on Foreign Relations; several Offices of the United Nations; and others.

The intermodal supply chain standards will be developed under the guidance of a International Standards Group led by the Chair of ISO/TC8 and comprised of several Chairs of other ISO technical committees and subcommittees (with the exception of aviation, which is dealt with separately by ISO/TC20).

ISO selected Smart and Secure Tradelanes (SST) for the basis for its program because of the proven track record, global scope and great promise of the initiative to influence how technology is deployed to enhance the security and visibility cargo shipments within and between countries.

ISO's technical committee on ships and marine technology will examine the technologies, processes, business practices, data and operational results of the initial phase of the SST initiative as it has been implemented in more than 12 of the world’s busiest trade lanes as a means to baseline current practices, identify security gaps and propose standards-based solutions that address the security concerns over the movement of cargo containers as a core element of shipping goods through global supply chains and likewise in the follow-on phases of SST.

The technical committee plans to use the information gathered through its work with the SST initiative to make recommendations of new procedures for maintenance and transfer of cargo custody, new data that needs to be collected, means by which current and additional data is collected and transmitted, sensor interfaces and modes of data communication, the means to search or access the data on an as needed and as authorized basis and training requirements.

More than 40 SST partners are building a global information network and infrastructure that enables them to have real-time visibility of the location and security status tracking infrastructure and from their point of origin to their final destination. SST is designed to complement U. S. Homeland Security initiatives, including the Container Security Initiative(CSI), Customs Trade Partners Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), and Operation Safe Commerce (OSC).

"By working with the partners of the SST initiative, we will be able to achieve the objective of our program, which is:

(1) defining the physical security of cargo and transportation assets, the structure of information systems, associated processes and international business practices,

(2) producing data, process and technology solutions supporting intermodal security and effectiveness that enhance cargo security by providing confidence in container status, location and history while

(3) preserving company proprietary information and minimizing commercial disruption. Our work with SST will be key to both accelerating the standards development process and to forming a working industry/government coalition to implement the standards," said Captain Charles Piersall, Chair of ISO/TC 8.

”From the outset, SST was designed to be an open platform adopting best-of-breed technologies that comply with international standards to ensure excellence, seamless communication and interoperability,” said General John Coburn (US Army, Ret.), Chairman of the Strategic Council on Security Technology (SCST), a global advisory resource and sponsor of the SST initiative. “No single technology can eliminate the vulnerabilities in today’s complex supply chain,” he added. “That’s why it’s so important to adopt a holistic approach to security - one that can address the complexity and scale of today’s global supply chain by incorporating multiple best-of-breed technologies that inter-operate under a common set of international standards.”

Since SST was launched last summer during a joint press conference by the Strategic Council on Security Technology and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WASH), Smart and Secure Tradelanes has begun implementing infrastructure in major seaports in Asia, Europe and the United States, and shipped several hundred containers affixed with electronic seals that communicate with a global information network bridged by the Internet. SST is composed now of more than 40 partners, including the world’s largest port operators, major shippers, a number of transportation service providers and solution providers. A clear goal is to further increase participation from additional international firms.

ISO is the International Organization for Standardization. It is made up of 146 national standards institutes from countries large and small, industrialized and developing, in all regions of the world. ISO develops voluntary technical standards that contribute to making industrial production and supply more efficient, safer and cleaner, and to making trade between countries easier and fairer. More information can be obtained at

The Strategic Council on Security Technology is an international assembly of top executives from the world’s largest port operators, major logistics technology providers, retired senior general and flag officers, former public officials and prominent transportation consultancies. Acting as an international resource, it is committed to helping ensure greater intermodal supply chain security through best-of-breed practices and technologies while working with a variety of other industry associations. More information can be obtained at