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The first Annual SYNCHRO-NET meeting

The SYNCHRO-NET project had its first annual project meeting in Barcelona in early June. I had a pleasure to take part in the three-day event and enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and sunny weather of the Catalonian capital.

For those who are not yet familiar with the project, SYNCHRO-NET is a three-and-half-year demonstration project on advanced logistics optimization. The project seeks to advance and promote new concepts of synchro-modality and slow steaming for more cost-efficient, less congested and greener intermodal supply chains. The project includes three demonstrations that test slow-steaming and synchro-modal solutions in real international logistics networks. The first demonstrator involves shipping of goods from the Far-East to the ports of Valencia, Algeciras and Barcelona, and subsequent movement by rail inland and final short truck movement. The second demonstrator focuses on regional logistics movements through the Port of Cork. The third demonstrator will address multimodal container movements in major European routes. The project is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Programme.

During the two first days of the meeting, the Partner Forum discussed the SYNCHRO-NET work ahead: standardization, development of a tool for logistics optimization, real-world demonstrations, and exploitation and dissemination of the project’s results. The discussion produced some interesting findings and conclusions. The Partner Forum observed that, given the large number and variety of factors, the optimization of shipping and logistics in terms of cost (including CAPEX, crew cost, fuel), duration, environmental impact, reliability and various types of risks is nothing but an easy task. For example, weather, tide and state of the sea affect maritime logistics, its speed, reliability and cost-efficiency. There was also a great deal of discussion about the dimensions of risk in the meeting. The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) defines risk as the “effect of uncertainty on objectives.” In this light, the concept of risk in the SYNCHRO-NET context covers at least damage to cargo, lead time variability, variability of cost, and possibility of theft and piracy. The Forum concluded that cost-efficiency and quality of international logistics depend largely on real-time awareness and visibility over logistics operations: “the sooner you know, the lower the cost will be to solve the problem.”

The three days of SYNCHRO-NET meetings culminated in the International Logistics and Material Handling (SIL) conference, the primary annual industry fair and networking event for logistics professionals in Spain. In the conference, Mr. Santiago Blasco (DHL) introduced SYNCHRO-NET at the “Consumer & Goods” working session for a large audience. Later that day, a group of leading logistics experts from Spain and the rest of Europe debated on pressing topics at three SYNCHRO-NET roundtables. The roundtable sessions focused on the general theme “How to build win-win solutions synchro-modal logistics stakeholders.” Here are brief summaries of the roundtable sessions:

  • “Smart Steaming – how to build a win-win solution for all stakeholders.” The members of the roundtable raised concerns about organizational, technical and business challenges of future slow steaming. There are obvious draw-back in slow steaming such as longer lead times and lower capacity utilization. However, the panel concluded that smart rather than slow steaming is here to stay: “While maintaining high service level, we can make logistics more cost-efficient.”
  • ”Effective management of synchro-modal logistics.” The panelists of the second session argued that the concept of synchro-modality is not yet very established in the logistics sector. Even so, the panel agreed that synchro-modality builds on real-time optimization, risk analysis and advanced, ITC-enabled logistics planning. Synchro-modality requires visibility over the supply chain, so that logistics planers react to contingencies and can make effective decisions in real time. The panel concluded that collaboration across supply chain operators – especially among shippers, carriers, freight forwarders – is the key to synchronized international logistics.
  • “Synchro-modal IT tools: innovation and value added to the logistics industry.” The third panel focused on the rather technical topic of leveraging cloud-based IT architecture for advanced logistics planning. The panelists saw a great potential in modern ICT solutions to enable synchro-modality, smart steaming and other ways for optimizing international freight transport. There still remain challenges for bridging a broad array of different computer systems for higher degree of logistics interconnectedness and interoperability.

The SYNCHRO-NET project has had a strong start, and the project progresses on the right track and at the full speed after one year of work. There is still much hard work to do over the next six months, for CBRA and other partners. In autumn, CBRA researchers will be focusing on reviewing policies, legislations, and standards that have an effect on synchro-modality and slow steaming. The CBRA team will also continue promoting the SYNCHRO-NET project and its findings at various events and publications. Stay with SYNCHRO-NET and visit the project website www.synchro-net.org.

CBRA Blog by Dr. Toni Männistö

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Figure 1 Santiago Bosco presenting SYNCHRO-NET at the the International Logistics and Material Handling (SIL) conference

New survey on European postal security

PostEurop and Cross-border Research Association have launched a new online survey on postal security management to promote further development and implementation of best security practices in the postal sector. The survey is part of the ongoing SAFEPOST project that the European Commission is co-funding under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). SAFEPOST project going to finish in the end of July after four years of work towards higher postal security in the European Union.

The survey studies the current state of postal security management among PostEurop members, 52 postal operators in 49 European countries. The goal is to collect responses mainly from security and safety managers of the PostEurop members, but also postal expert familiar with sorting and distribution processes are welcome to provide their inputs. The first part of the survey focuses on security implementation and security performance, and the second part studies postal managers’ expectations and concerns regarding the following six main SAFEPOST innovations:

Common Postal Security Space:

SAFEPOST has created an online platform for sharing security-related information between postal operators. This Common Postal Security Space provides a digital track record of security controls and related evidence (for example X-ray images) that a postal parcel has encountered over its journey, and facilitates an easy and controlled way to exchange information both with other operators as well as the authorities.

D-tube drug screening station:

SAFEPOST has demonstrated a new screening solution, D-tube, that can be fully integrated into the sorting process. The D-Tube’s prototype detects illegal substances, such as narcotics and explosives, at high accuracy.

Explosive detection system:

SAFEPOST has demonstrated a Raman spectroscopy screening device for detecting trace amounts of explosives and explosive precursors on the outside of postal items. The device is designed to be seamlessly integrated, at the same level as X-ray machines already used today, in the sorting process and detect the explosive threats at a high accuracy and at a low false alarm rate (≈ 1 %).

Image recognition system:

SAFEPOST has developed an Image Recognition solution that photographs five visible sides of a postal parcel at one or more locations in the postal network. The solution compares these images to detect signs of tampering or damage (≈ 92% detection rate). The current solution functions properly when the conveyor belt moves no faster than 0.5 m/s.

Radiological screening:

SAFEPOST has demonstrated detection of radiation in moving parcels, that can be fully integrated into the sorting process. The current version of the detector is able to detect any harmful level of radiation, and identify the radioactive isotope, and when possible to consider effects of possible attempts of hiding the radioactivity with lead or other shielding material by detecting neutron radiation.

Security standard and certificate:

SAFEPOST project is working towards a new European security standard for the postal operators that would give recommendations about use of security inspection technologies, exchange of security-related information, cyber security, and key security performance indicators. This standard would pave the road towards a voluntary security certification program that would help the postal operators to show their commitment to security.

This survey research is expected to produce interesting new insights about postal security activities and security performance among the PostEurop members. If the response rate is high, the survey findings will set a basis for pan-European benchmarking of security activities. The findings would also contribute to smart policy making, legislation, and standardisation in the field of postal security.

Finally, depending on the response rate, CBRA is going to publish an academic journal paper based on the results. Building on solid theory on supply chain security risk management, the journal paper would provide new empirical about how supply chain security implementation is associated operational and security performance. We expect that collaborative security measures improve both on-time delivery performance (a proxy for operational performance) and supply chain security performance simultaneously. Collaborative security measures include survey items such as “we coordinate security activities with our business customers” and “we exchange customs declaration information with customs authorities electronically [for example, ITMATT or CUSITM messages]”. Another hypothesis is that, on the one hand, non-collaborative security contributes to supply chain security performance but decrease on-time delivery performance on the other hand. Examples of such non-collaborative measures include “we use tamper-evident mail bags to transport high-value postal items” and “We perform security controls also on non-airmail items to detect explosives.” The figure below summarises the theory and hypotheses of the research paper.

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Figure 1 Theoretical framework of the SAFEPOST survey paper

The survey findings will be presented in the final SAFEPOST meeting in Madrid 5-6 July 2016. After the meeting, we hope that we can expand the scope of the survey to cover the rest of the world, as well. The next step would be to contact representatives of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and coordinate distribution of the survey into the organisations’ 192 member countries.

 

Supply chain security education materials

Blog-29.02.16FP7-CORE is the European flagship research and development project in supply chain security and trade facilitation, running from May 2014 to April 2018. In today´s CBRA Blog we focus on education and training material development – Work package 19, Task 19.1 – in the CORE-project.

The CORE Task 19.1 - Education and training materials development – has an impressive set of partners: INTERPOL, World Customs Organization (WCO), European Shippers Council (ESC), European association for forwarding, transport, logistics and customs services (CLECAT), International Road Union (IRU), and Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) as the established big players; ourselves Cross-border Research Association (CBRA) as the Task leader (and an enthusiastic lecturing body in supply chain security and trade facilitation); as well as the BMT Group, as the Work package 19 leader. We first started interaction with the entire Task 19.1 team during summer 2014, when the CORE-project had just been kicked off, and everything was still in it´s infancy.

Today, at the end of February 2016 - near two years into the project - we are about to launch the full scale production of the CORE education and training materials. We vision content to be produced in three parallel categories: CORE Flagship Handbook (CFH); Partner-specific materials; and Other education content. Content which is considered to be near-final can be published on-the-fly for example at CBRA´s web-portal, www.cross-border.org , where a new section is planned for the “CORE Education” (like the “CORE Observatory” which has been live since last autumn). Having just over two years left with the CORE-project, we are right on schedule to start the full production of education and training materials!

CORE Flagship Handbook (CFH) will be the main joint outcome of Task 19.1, thus we welcome INTERPOL, WCO, ESC, CLECAT, IRU, TU Delft and BMT to work closely with us in the production, review and piloting of the Handbook. In our current plans the Flagship Handbook has the following four sections, each section having multiple chapters (typically between two and six chapters per section):

  1. Introduction to CORE innovation agenda; including explaining key CORE themes and concepts; and frameworks and models.
  2. CORE outcomes, findings and results – written primarily in the context of the 16 CORE-Demonstrations.
  3. Interpretation of CORE results per key stakeholder group: customs, police, cargo owners, logistics sector, security sector and academics
  4. Future research and development roadmap – focusing on gaps and shortcomings; critical assessment on what works and what doesn’t by the end of CORE-project.

Partner specific materials typically fall into two sub-categories. First one is generic, introductory materials which would be of relevance to 1-2 stakeholder groups – for example Supply chain management 101 for police officers. Such materials can quite easily be developed within Task 19.1, using CORE supply chains and trade lanes as examples. At the same time, such basic education material would not be of relevance for supply chain companies, thus it should not be published in the CORE Flagship Handbook, CFH. Second sub-category is on detailed technical content, which again would be relevant to 1-2 stakeholder groups. An example could be technical review on risk management tools for the logistics sector.

Other education material may consist of the following content buckets, listed in a rough “simple to more complex” -order: Factsheets; Quizzes; Basic case studies; Comprehensive case studies; Videos and animations; Serious games, and so forth. It is still early days to decide what makes sense to develop – and for what we have adequate resources, skills and budgets. Maybe we will start with some simple factsheets, quizzes and basic case studies – this is still to be discussed among Task 19.1 partners.

Finally, the plans regarding the CORE Education web-portal are still in a preliminary stage. We could have a simple dropdown menu at www.cross-border.org , for example with the following selection options: Introductory materials; Technical sections; and Factsheets & quizzes. In the last category we could share first outcomes of Task 19.1 work. Here, just like in all other aspects of CORE Task 19.1, we welcome ideas and feedback from the Task 19.1 team, and from the whole CORE Consortium – and even beyond, from any interested stakeholders and potential future users of CORE Education materials!

In Lausanne on 29.2.2016 - CBRA Blog by Juha Hintsa

CORE Information Observatory

cbra_blog_post_040116Please visit FP7-CORE Information Observatory . If you find it useful for your work, please consider registering to become a regular CORE Observatory user and to receive the CBRA Monthly Newsletter!

On behalf of the whole CBRA-team – Sangeeta, Susana, Susan, Phan Hien, Toni, Vladlen, Duayner, Perttu, Matti, Ari-Pekka, Ninoslav, Peter, Andrew, Harri x 2, and David x 2 (http://www.cross-border.org/team/ ) – I would like to wish you the best of success for the year 2016, in your professional as well as private life. In the context of global supply chains, we are ready to work with you towards faster and more predictable global logistics, naturally combined with low crime rates and with high compliance rates. One great tool to support such “common industry-government-academia global supply chain mission” is our new media platform – the recently launched FP7-CORE Information Observatory, which you can find at: http://www.cross-border.org/core-observatory/core-observatory-full-list/

CORE Observatory gives you 10-20 regular reviews and updates per month on supply chain security and trade facilitation policies, regulations, standards, good practices, roadmaps, research papers etc. – for the benefit of FP7-CORE partners, and beyond. Our primary focus is currently on European Union and its main trading partners – global expansion is possible later, depending on user needs and priorities. Each CORE Observatory entry has a title and a summary, visible to every user. At the end of the summary we provide a URL for the source document, whenever an electronic version is available in public domain. Starting 1 January 2016, the title and summary are also translated to Spanish. New languages (e.g. French, Arabic or Russian) may be offered later in 2016 depending on user preferences. The full review text is available only for the registered users, who will also receive the CBRA Monthly Newsletter, tailored to their personal information needs and interests. The CORE Observatory entries are listed in chronological order, the latest entry appearing on the top of the list. Any user – registered or not – can search CORE Observatory entries either via pre-defined keywords and tags (most common ones listed on the right side of the web page), or via free text search.

Again, Happy New Year 2016 everyone – and looking forward to having many new visitors at the FP7-CORE Information Observatory!

Yours, Juha

Welcome back!

cbra_blog_post_061215CBRA blog is back on-line after a couple of months of hard work renewing our website. We have put a particular effort to establish the “CORE Information Observatory” – a new service for continuous monitoring of key policies, regulations and studies in supply chain security management and in global trade facilitation.

We have now separated CBRA Blog and CBRA Interviews into two different sections on our website.  We hope you will find the new website easy to use and the information valuable to your needs! We also welcome you to register at the new website – as a benefit you will have full access to all Observatory content, and you will receive monthly emails summarizing the new content linked to your personal preferences.

As a new, much asked feature, we introduce now Spanish as our second language. We have already translated all key content on the CBRA activities, teams, partners, list of projects etc. as well as Blog and Interview titles.  We also aim to translate the titles and summaries of all new entries in CORE Observatory, Blogs and Interviews. Of course all will depend on how many Spanish speaking readers we will be getting during the coming months. We will also consider introducing a third language early 2016 – again depending on the needs and preferences of our global community.

Today, 6.12.2015 – which happens to be the independence day of my home country Finland – I wish all readers a relaxing Sunday, and look forward to seeing many registrations coming through and to receiving lots of feedback on your interests and needs.

Greetings from foggy Switzerland, Juha

PS. Please check also today’s interview with Mr. Greg Schlegel, the founder of the Supply Chain Risk Management Consortium.

CWIT & COP @ Geneva (2/2)

This is part 2/2 blog on the FP7-CWIT organized side event with the COP to Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, on 9 May 2015 in Geneva.

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CWIT & COP @ Geneva (1/2)

FP7-CWIT organized a side event on 9 May 2015 in Geneva – during the COP to Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions –meetings.

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B2G bribery in logistics

News last week by the Transparency International on global corruption triggered CBRA´s blog topic to deal with B2G bribery in cross-border supply chains.

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Dr. Naim on illicit trade

This is the first book review in CBRAs supply chain security blog, drilling into the complexities and challenges of global illicit trade.

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PICARD2014 Conference

Fabulous four days spent in Puebla, enjoying good quality conference presentations and panel discussions as well as great Mexican hospitality.

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CORE-Observatory

CASSANDRA compendium. Standards in supply chain management (Ch. 9)

Summary: Chapter 9 of the CASSANDRA compendium lists and discusses various standards that set the context for international supply chain management. The chapter focuses especially on management standards (e.g., ISO28000), technical standards (e.g., RFID, electronic seals and barcodes), standards for exchange of information among supply chain stakeholders (e.g., UN/EDIFACT and XML messaging), and customs security standards (especially the World Customs Organisations’ SAFE Framework of Standards). GS1 Global Visibility Framework and other industry standards are included in the discussion, as well. The chapter points out that because a large variety of standards are already available, the challenge is not a lack of standardisation but the lack of harmonisation between different standards. The section also concludes that even if the diversity of standards was harmonised, the next step would be to ensure that the standards would be consistently implemented in different contexts.

CASSANDRA compendium. Technologies for supply chain visibility and security (Ch. 8)

Summary: Chapter 8 of the CASSANDRA compendium reviews current and future technologies that help managers to improve visibility and security over global end-to-end supply chains. The supply chain visibility technologies, in essence, provide logistics managers with a variety of information - shipment data, performance metrics, inventory levels, production / delivery schedules and sales forecast, for example - in or close to real time. The chapter’s review on supply chain security technologies focus mainly on security sensors (e.g., motion detectors), container seals, biometric user authentication devices (e.g., fingerprints), and non-intrusive inspection equipment (e.g., X-ray screening stations). The section also elaborates modern ways for sharing information among stakeholders that are concerned about security of the supply chain. The CASSANDRA compendium is available for download: www.cassandra-project.eu. Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA)

CASSANDRA compendium. Private sector perspectives on risk management (Ch. 5) and crime prevention and security management in supply chains (Ch. 6)

Summary: Chapters 5 & 6 of the CASSANDRA compendium provide a general overview on supply chain security risk management from the private sector perspective. Explaining the essentials of supply chain risk management, Chapter 5 introduces commonly used risk management models and tools (e.g., risk matrices and risk registers), discusses various classifications of supply chain risks, and elaborates current trends of risks and risk management in the supply chain context. Chapter 6 focuses on specific challenges of supply chain security risks - the risks that arise from intentional, man-made criminal activities such as terrorism, theft, trafficking, and sabotage. The chapter explains a few early classifications of supply chain security risks (e.g., motive-based typology and taxonomies based on private sector perspectives). Following the classifications of security risks, the chapter puts forth a few models for managing security risks in the supply chain context (e.g., the 8-layer model for supply chain security management). The chapter concludes with a detailed case study on security management of an international security company and a comparison of supply chain security management and the total quality management (TQM) management philosophy. The CASSANDRA compendium is available for download: www.cassandra-project.eu. Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA)

Governmental actors in supply chains & Governmental procedures, compliance and risk management – CASSANDRA Compendium Chapters 4 & 7, 2012 (CORE2007c)

Summary: The fourth and seventh chapters of the CASSANDRA compendium elaborate on the roles of government agencies in international logistics and supply chain security (SCS). A broad range of government actors - customs, police agencies, border guards and many others - play a crucial role in enforcing and facilitating cross-border traffic through the global supply chains. These government agencies are critical stakeholders to be involved in the development, design and implementation of the two central CASSANRA concepts: the end-to-end data pipeline and the risk-based approach to cargo inspections and company audits. The CASSANDRA compendium highlights that there are important differences in the national laws and regulations, even within the European Union, that complicate international government collaboration. The differences in the legal framework and organisational cultures must be taken into account when designing new SCS solutions in the CASSANDRA and other projects. The CASSANDRA compendium is available for download: www.cassandra-project.eu. Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA)

Supply chain finances and liabilities (CASSANDRA Compendium Chapter 3 – CORE2007b)

Summary

The third chapter of the CASSANDRA compendium clarifies financial and insurance concepts and techniques of international supply chain management. In cross-border trade, exporters and importers often insure themselves against a variety of risks, including loss or damage of goods in transit, currency fluctuations, and a business partner’s default. In particular, exchange of goods for money between sellers (exporters) and buyers (importers) is a great source risk and uncertainty in international logistics transactions. For example, advance payment is unfavorable for importers in terms of cost, cash-flow and risk of default. On the contrary, selling goods on consignment puts exporters at a risk. For risk mitigation, exporters commonly protect themselves against buyers that fail to pay for goods whereas importers protect themselves against exporters that fail to deliver goods. The chapter illustrates how financial transactions and conventions underpin physical flow of goods in international supply chains. The CASSANDRA compendium is available for download here.

Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA).

Introduction to Supply Chain Management (CASSANDRA Compendium Chapter 2, CORE2007a)

Summary

The second chapter of the CASSANDRA compendium gives a general outlook on the theory and practice of modern supply chain management. Written in lay-man’s language, the text explains a broad range of strategies for managing supply chains, from lean management to agile and responsive logistics. The chapter also defines fundamental supply chain terminology and discusses current trends in the logistics, including synchromodality, use of 4PL logistics service providers, and green logistics. The chapter introduces several supply chain reference frameworks that illustrate a series of interdependent activities and stakeholders involved in the international transport of cargo. The CASSANDRA compendium is available for download here.

Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA)

FP7-CONTAIN Report Summary (CORE3011)

Summary: This review on reference project focuses on: FP7-CONTAIN project. The CONTAIN Base platform might contribute to CORE Supply Chain Situational Awareness Toolset (T4.1). The CONTAIN Dashboard is a good example towards CORE T3.3. The author of the review is Konstantinos Vasileiou, ILS. The document code is CORE3011, in the CORE e-library.
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FP7-COMCIS Report Summary (CORE3010)

Summary: This review on reference project focuses on: COMCIS (Collaborative Information Services for Container Management), which was an EU research project focusing on facilitating the development of interoperable communication channels between businesses and authorities, with the use of electronic messages and state-of-the-art communication infrastructure. An important infrastructural component of the COMCIS unified interoperability layer is the Single Point Data Interchange (SPDI) component. The author of the review is Konstantinos Vasileiou, ILS. Document coding in CORE e-library is CORE3010. More information on the project at: http://www.comcis.eu/
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FP7-EUROSKY Report Summary (CORE3009a)

Summary: This reference project review focuses on FP7-EUROSKY. The author of the review is Konstantinos Vasileiou, ILS. The original files are coded as CORE3009a, in the CORE e-library. More information on the project at: http://www.euroskyproject.eu/
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Review on FP7-SAFEPOST (CORE3008)

Summary: This review on reference projects focuses on FP7-SAFEPOST. The author of the review is Konstantinos Vasileiou, ILS. The original files can be found in CORE e-library with coding CODE3008. More information on the project at: http://www.safepostproject.eu/ Read more

Interviews

Professor Guido Palazzo on illicit waste supply chains

Today we interview Professor Guido Palazzo on illicit waste supply chains.

Hi Guido, and thanks for joining a CBRA Interview – can you first tell a bit who are you and what you do?

I am a Professor of Business Ethics at the University of Lausanne since 2003. In my research I focus on the dark side of the force. I examine human rights problems in global supply chains, the driving forces of unethical decision making in organizations and the interface of business and organized crime. In the early 2000s, when I started with my research, business ethics was largely marginalized and perceived as rather irrelevant for both business schools and companies. This has changed dramatically in recent years. Ethical questions have moved center stage.

One of your research project focuses on illicit waste supply chains, particularly in Italy. How bad is the situation there?

Since 25 years, organized crime, in particular Camorra and Ndrangheta are involved in the business of toxic waste recycling. This business is ideal from the perspective of a Mafia organization: Legal risks are negligible and profits are huge. Operating with straw firms they offer their services across Europe up to 90% below the prices of their legal competitors. Obviously, they do not really recycle the waste but simply dump it in South Italy mainly in Campania province, but also in Africa and Eastern Europe. We are talking here about slag and chemicals and tire and other forms of waste from hospitals, garment industry, chemical industry, nuclear industry and so on. The waste includes toxins like cyanide, dioxin, asbestos, chlorines and includes also nuclear waste. Since 25 years, millions of cubic meters of such waste have been dumped in a region which the Romans once called Campania Felix for its fruitful soil. Billions of Euros of profit have been made and laundered by banks in Zurich, London and New York. And the most amazing think is that until recently, this destruction of one of the most beautiful regions of Italy occurred in complete silence. Now, toxins have arrived at the ground water and cancer rates of people living around the waste dumps explode.

Sad and interesting – at the same time - to hear about this... If I recall correctly, I gave you couple of months ago a copy of the FP7-CWIT project´s final report – with recommendations and a tangible roadmap to better mitigate risks of illegal activities in electronic waste… Do you foresee opportunities for similar research projects in the field of toxic waste trade, supply chains and logistics?

We do indeed need a similar research project in order to better understand the journey of illegal waste through Europe and the critical points in the supply chain of toxic waste recycling where organized crime interferes. We need public awareness for the urgency of the problem, develop a better regulatory governance around waste recycling and impose a compliance system on companies so that the existing silent collusion can be stopped.

Thanks Guido for this enlightening interview; and let´s start working together – as UNIL, CBRA and other partners – towards future research funding & project, on this crucial environmental and human health protection topic!

Dr. Federico Magalini on waste logistics crime

Hi Federico, and thanks for agreeing to join a CBRA Interview, as the first expert in year 2016 - can you first tell a bit who are you and what you do?

Thank you for the opportunity of sharing some of the past experiences and projects done, including those with CBRA and looking ahead into the next years. I’m a mechanical engineer as background, with a PhD in Management, Economical and Industrial Engineers and I am working as Associate Programme Officer at United Nations University – Vice-Rectorate in Europe. I’m in particular working for SCYCLE, SCYCLE operating unit of the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability.

Can you explain more on what is the United Nations University, UNU?

UNU is, despite the name, not a classical university as many might think. The United Nations University (UNU) is a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organization headquartered in Japan. The mission of the UN University is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States. We work a lot with leading universities and research institutes in various countries, functioning as a bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system. Our operating unit SYCLE is particularly devoted to research in the field of electronic waste.

UNU, INTERPOL, CBRA and other partners finished few months ago a 2-year research project on electronic waste crime and non-compliance, the FP7-CWIT –project. From your perspective, what were the most important outcomes of that project?

The CWIT project contributed in my opinion to increase the general understanding of volumes of electronic waste annually arising in different EU Member States and the fate of the disposed equipment. Knowing the baseline of products annually discarded by EU citizens is a first, fundamental step to allow policymakers and stakeholders at large to develop a strategy to ensure proper collection and treatment. In addition to that the project described the main drivers behind the flows diverted from the actual take back and recycling systems across the EU.

A second important outcome of the project is the analysis and identification of the main crime patterns that are typical of such an Industry: in the illegal trade of WEEE, there is a varying degree of compliance and criminality that spans across a continuum ranging from minor unintentional violations or non-compliance by individuals to deliberate illegal activities following a criminal business model. The organisational structure differs by country and region, from individual traders to structured criminal groups.

The combination of those two elements – knowledge of the market and understanding of criminal behaviours – allowed drawing a roadmap for future improvement in compliance and enforcement.

Do you believe that some of the CWIT outcomes will have practical positive impacts to reduce future crime and non-compliance, in the broader context of e-waste handling and management?

I sincerely hope so. And I am sure this will happen. To which extent is hard to predict but in the second part of the project we really focused on how to derive practical recommendations for the various actors involved along the entire value chain. And we broadly discussed the ideas, in many cases deriving from real cases and best practices, with various stakeholders; I hope this will increase the likelihood of having some of the recommendations actually implemented.

We committed ourselves to disseminate the recommendations beyond the project duration and we have seen already some results, with the project findings being discussed in various fora, conferences and public events, including some internal meeting with EC officials. And we have seen official request from some Members of the EU Parliament, who quizzed the EC on the consequences of the CWIT project, challenging here to take concrete actions.

Now we are launching a new project called DOT.COM WASTE – with several CWIT partners, and few new partners. You are the project manager for this “CWIT follow-up” –project, congratulations on that. Can you please explain what this new project aims to achieve?

I am really happy of the DOT.COM waste project as combines some of the results of the CWIT project, particularly the recommendation on the need of better training of enforcement and prosecutors in one of the main areas of my personal interest and work at UNU: capacity building. The DOT.COM WASTE project seeks to increase the capabilities of law enforcement agencies, customs and port authorities, environmental agencies and prosecutors to fight cross-border waste crime more cost-effectively. To achieve this objective, the project aims to increase the stakeholders’ understanding of current waste crime trends and to identify and share good practices for detecting, investigating and prosecuting waste crime activities.

Which aspect of the DOT.COM WASTE project you see as the most challenging one?

I see two main challenges ahead for the DOT.COM WASTE project. The first one is related to the scope of the project itself: there are many waste streams and the challenges of different streams are different. As a consequence also the tools to tackle illegal activities might vary: we will have to identify the priorities in order to be effective.

The second one is related to the duration of the project; the project will translate the knowledge gained into training material and tools and will promote training sessions to help key stakeholders integrate good practices into their day-to-day operations. The project’s underlying objective is to intensify international collaboration through development and implementation of new mechanisms for information exchange, technology transfer and operational coordination. But I really hope that all those efforts will produce effects that will last longer than the two years of the project itself.

I sincerely hope that we will be able to make the difference here!

Thanks a lot Federico for this interview – and talk to you soon at the DOT.COM WASTE kick-off meeting.

WCO’s Knowledge Academy for Customs & Trade

wcoThis week’s CBRA blog is an interview with Mr. Greg Pilkington, who is an Executive Officer at the World Customs Organization in Brussels, Belgium.

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Academia de la OMA

wcoThis week’s CBRA blog is an interview with Mr. Greg Pilkington, who is an Executive Officer at the World Customs Organization in Brussels, Belgium.

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Summer course in the US

a42a2aa6c7440291c38ba9adc5892a56This week’s blog is an interview on Homeland security summer course with Professor Alexander Siedschlag, from the Penn State Harrisburg Campus.

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Curso de verano en los Estados Unidos

a42a2aa6c7440291c38ba9adc5892a56This week’s blog is an interview on Homeland security summer course with Professor Alexander Siedschlag, from the Penn State Harrisburg Campus.

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Gerwin Z. & FP7-CORE

Our second blog-interview is with Mr. Gerwin Zomer, focusing on CORE - Consistently Optimised Resilient Secure Global Supply Chains.

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Gerwin Z. y FP7-CORE

Our second blog-interview is with Mr. Gerwin Zomer, focusing on CORE - Consistently Optimised Resilient Secure Global Supply Chains.

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