Efficiency and security are said to be opposing goals of logistics operations: when security goes up, efficiency decreases, and vice versa. Yet, it is suggested that information technologies could improve efficiency and security simultaneously. Sternberg et al. (2012) investigate this hypothesis: whether and to what extent increased attention to efficiency results in improved security in carrier operations in a seaport context. In a longitudinal case study, they research carrier operations in connection with port terminals carrying out Roll-in Roll-out (RoRo) operations on trailers at the port of Gothenburg. They find that investments in new ICT solutions, in fact, remove some of the barriers to higher efficiency and improve security against cargo theft and terrorism. In particular, they report that ICT investments increased efficiency in terms of reduced waiting times and increased ability to plan port operations (pre-arrival notification) and fast positioning of trailers in a port. The new ICT solutions also increased security in terms of more secure document handling (decreases the risk that sensitive information falls into the hands of criminals), better anomaly detection (helps customs identify trailers that are most likely tampered in-transit) and increased visibility. The abstract is available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.
Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA) based on his doctoral thesis.
This article is relevant for CORE demonstrations that focus on sea port operations (WP10-11 and WP13-15 and WP17). The research shows how a ‘common information sharing platform’ – an electronic and highly automated communication network among LSPs, carriers, ferry operators, port operators and authorities – increases logistics efficiency and security performance simultaneously. The main components of this platform include information sharing through a common information area, real-time geographical position of truck and trailer, identification technology in truck, RFID tags on transport units and RFID readers mounted on terminals, electronic manifest, and electronic container seals. More specifically, Sternberg et al. (2012) observed that adoption of a set of IT-enabled SCS solutions eliminated logistics efficiency and security issues simultaneously:
- Real-time geo-positioning of trucks and trailers enabled the port operator to allocate a vacant spot for a trailer prior to its arrival, which reduced the waiting time at the port entrance. The real-time information enabled also customs to detect anomalies in shipping schedules and routings that would imply a heightened risk of smuggling.
- RFID-based identification of drivers, trucks, and trailers automated and accelerated the access formalities at the port entrance and increased reliability of driver authentication.
- Digitalization of cargo manifests eliminated the time-consuming manual document handling and reduced the risk of unauthorised access to confidential information.
- E-seals enabled customs officers to identify intact containers and spare them from time- consuming inspections.
Sternberg, H., Nyquist, C., & Nilsson, F. (2012). Enhancing Security Through Efficiency Focus— Insights from a Multiple Stakeholder Pilot Implementation. Journal of Business Logistics, 33(1), 64-73.