Safe shipping

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 1 July 2004



(2004), "Safe shipping", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 53 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Safe shipping

The security of international containerised shipping has taken a step forward following the start of Operation Safe Commerce (OSC). Several container ships crossed the Pacific with the first of hundreds of OSC test containers as part of a federally funded, industry-led program designed to test and evaluate technologies and define best practices.

The first OSC shipping containers entering the USA from Malaysia were discharged at the Port of Tacoma and trucked to Target distribution centres in Auburn and Lacey, Washington. These were closely followed by containers from Japan arriving at the Port of Tacoma and sent via rail to the Upper Midwest.

These were the beginning of a steady stream of approximately 550 containers arriving at the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma with electronics, consumer goods, foodstuffs, coffee, clothing and hardware from Germany, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Guatemala, China and Hong Kong.

The Port of Tacoma and Port of Seattle are partners in nine supply chain projects funded by US$27.5 million jointly awarded by the TSA. The first OSC containers bound for the Port of Seattle arrived in mid-April.

Timothy Farrell, deputy executive director, Port of Tacoma siad: “95 per cent of world trade is on ocean-going ships. How do we secure world trade without compromising the inherent efficiencies that assure us reliable and competitively priced goods on our store shelves? That question is being answered by the maritime industry and federal government via Operation Safe Commerce. From the overseas point of origin to the point of distribution in the United States, Operation Safe Commerce has been evaluating how the goods we bring into our home are shipped. It is a testing process that will ultimately form a base of knowledge to create standards for safe, reliable and efficient international trade”.

The Puget Sound OSC projects and evaluations are expected to be completed by October. The security policies, procedures, practices and technologies that prove successful will be recommended for implementation on a wider scale.

Related articles