The US government is pushing a new 100 % screening regime for US-bound containers in foreign ports to mitigate the risk of weapons of mass destruction entering US soil. The 100 % regime, however, is a major concern for foreign port operators because the current Container Security Initiative (CSI) regime seems not to be scalable for high inspection rates. The paper of Bakshi et al. (2011) simulate impacts of two container inspection regimes (the CSI and a new one) in terms of port congestion, handling cost and dwell time. To carry out the simulation, the authors use discrete event queuing network simulation with real container movement data from two of the world’s busiest container terminals. The analysis shows that cargo inspections many times disrupt optimized logistics processes at seaports. In particular, inspections extend the transportation leadtime because shipments lose time as they (i) are moved to an inspection site, (ii) queue for inspection to start, (iii) pass inspections themselves. Download the abstract here: http://pubsonline.informs.org.
Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA) based on his doctoral thesis.
This paper is highly relevant for CORE demonstrations that involve screening in seaports (WP10-11 and WP13-15 and WP17). The research illustrates the impact of the security integration on speed, cost, and predictability of the seaport logistics. Bakshi et al. (2011) observe that security inspection at port entrances (quayside for ships and city-side for trucks) with drive-through inspection portals, does not delay nor divert the routine container handling process, in which a crane unloads a container from a ship or a truck and deposits it to a stack where the container waits until it is its time to leave the port. But if a container is inspected a few hours prior its scheduled departure, as is currently done under the US Container Security Initiative (CSI) regime, the routine handling process gets disrupted, (see Figure 6). Remarkably, the only value-adding security activity “non-intrusive inspection” (11) requires three preceding activities (8P10) and another three following activities (12-14), none of which add value from security or service standpoints. Other valueless activities, which do not appear in the illustration, include searching of the shipment selected for screening and verification of its documentation. The extra activities consume time and money but add no value to the shipping service. The first approach with drive-through portals eliminates the non-value adding supportive logistics activities (8-10 and 12-14) and therefore enhances logistics speed and efficiency without necessarily lowering the security level.
Bakshi, N., Flynn, S. E., & Gans, N. (2011). Estimating the operational impact of container inspections at international ports. Management Science, 57(1), 1-20.