The Reliance Of The National And World Economies On The Global Supply Chain

823 Words Dec 3rd, 2016 4 Pages
The reliance of the national and world economies on the global supply chain make them vulnerable to any number of incidents, including deliberate attack, natural disasters and accidents. Furthermore, the supply chain’s existence on both land and sea require several different modes of transportation to function properly. Each of these different modes of transportation present unique security challenges, which must be addressed in order to ensure the efficient flow of goods across the globe. Of the different modes of transportation associated with the global supply chain, the maritime security element, specifically, container shipping and its associated operations (i.e. port operations), are the most vulnerable. This is primarily due to the ubiquitous nature of the shipping container, the number of shipping containers in use today, the number of entities involved in the shipping industry and the reliance on computer technology to plan, manage and execute port operations in the United States.

The sheer size and ubiquitous nature of container shipping presents a number of vulnerabilities, which may result in both economic and physical damage. The first, and most obvious, vulnerability is the sheer number of containers in use today. The World Shipping Council estimates there are approximately 32.9 million containers in use today (World Shipping Council, 2016, p. N.A.). Used for a number of illicit purposes, including smuggling weapons, drug or weapons of mass…

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