chapter  1
18 Pages

Introduction to Port Security Management

Seaports are a critical component of the global transportation infrastructure but historically have not been subject to comprehensive governmental regulation and security oversight. The terrorist attack of September 11 was a paradigm-shifting event for transportation systems’ security in general. For the maritime sector, that event has prompted dramatic shifts in the focused perspectives on security now required by anyone even remotely affiliated with the management of port security, as well as the vessels, conveyances, and people transiting them. In Figure 1.1, a container ship is seen departing a port for its next destination, a common occurrence, but one that illustrates the crucial dependence much of the world places on the ability to move commodities securely using many nations’ ports and waterways. Before the specter of global terrorism grew in the world’s consciousness in the late twentieth century, the notion that this fairly routine activity might be vulnerable to significant harm was mainly a concern that occupied the minds of security and law enforcement professionals. What scrutiny has been given to this vessel, its crew, and its cargo as it moves around the world from port to port? What is really inside those metal boxes that move from warehouse to truck to train to ship to port? How closely have the activities of the men and women who transferred the containers onto this vessel been monitored? Questions like these must be posed by those managing the security of the world’s transportation systems and infrastructure as they confront new, significant, and viable threats. While these managers have always had the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of the passengers, crew, and goods being moved, world events in the last ten to fifteen years now cause us to critically examine how well the security of our maritime and port infrastructure is being managed. Within this context, this book will provide a basic introduction and user’s support guide to managing security at a port facility. Given the complexities of a still-evolving homeland security strategy, this book is written for those professionals, educators, and students who have responsibilities or interests in securing transportation infrastructure associated with the maritime sector in general, and port facilities in particular.