Estimating the Operational Impact of Container Inspections at International Ports

This article details a study conducted in response to concerns that a law requiring 100 percent of U.S.-bound containers to be scanned at international ports would significantly encumber trade. By simulating the impact of the Container Security Initiative and Secure Freight Initiative it concludes that the Container Security Initiative is expensive and can only inspect a small proportion of U.S.-bound container due to scalability issues, while a modified version of the Secure Freight Initiative can provide 100 percent coverage at a much lower cost. Still, it notes a number of challenges remain with this latter option regarding governance protocols, information technology capabilities, and logistical obstacles.

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