[Hong Kong, 2nd December 2002] Coinciding with today’s commencement of the US Customs 24-hour advance cargo declaration requirement, Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) has launched a pilot programme together with a host of industry partners and participants of a Container Security Solution (CSS), aimed at meeting the requirements of ensuring marine cargo security.
A principal goal of the project is to maintain a level of security in the movement of cargo from door-to-door within marine containers. The solution being piloted adopts a two-pronged approach. The first is through the provision of cargo and other required information to the security authorities such that investigations may be conducted as appropriate. The second is to provide a level of assurance that the physical integrity of the container has not been compromised as it passes from point to point through the chain of custody once the cargo is packed into the container and the container has been locked with an electronic seal. The CSS relies on processes which participants will comply with, supported by a technological platform. This platform handles the information exchanges that have to take place. It also has the ability to track the movement of the container through the chain and monitor its security status.
The pilot began with the collection of required information and the locking of some 10 containers with e-seals. These MOL containers will be shipped from HIT in Hong Kong to the Port of Seattle. The vessel is sailing for the US West Coast today.
With a timeline of approximately four weeks, the CSS pilot from Hong Kong has formed a partnership of all relevant members of the supply chain, including factories, government representatives, logistics service providers, terminals and shipping lines. Taking into account the high level of co-operation and co-ordination, this is the world’s first container security scheme of this magnitude.
HPH Group Managing Director John Meredith, also a member of the Washington-based Strategic Council on Security Technology commented, “This initiative is very significant. We are aiming to make HPH terminals “safe ports” by enhancing the integrity of the supply chain without compromising the already established high level of efficiency.”
As the world’s leading port developer and operator the HPH Group operates in seven of the 20 megaports identified in the US Customs’ Container Security Initiative (CSI).
In continuous dialogue with the relevant US authorities, HPH has been taking a proactive role in shaping the post 9-11 paradigm of secure international trade. Forming alliances and working with partnerships within the industry this pilot programme is the first step in a larger initiative to enhance the security of the supply chain. This will give Hong Kong a feasible, community-accepted procedure for container security compliance.