The findings are found in a survey of those responsible for supply chain operations at the largest global import and export companies. A.T. Kearney conducted the research in collaboration with the International Cargo Security Council. Participants were from the retail, consumer packaged goods, chemical, automotive and high tech industries, representing companies that account for 26% of all U.S. imports.
Part of the security concerns voiced by those responding revolves around the fact that about 95% of all containers are not inspected for weapons of mass destruction or other types of security threats.
The study also found that prior to 9/11, most had focused their resources on improving domestic supply chains. Since then, however, more attention is being turned to technologies that can help improve the security and efficiency of offshore supply chains. New technology mentioned included radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled “smart boxes,” which are anticipated to improve container visibility throughout the supply chain.
Other worries revealed in the study concerned reduction of inventory, lead-time variances, stock outs and preventing container loss.