Human Factor in Cargo Security Is Human Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Human Factor in Cargo Security

Is Human Factor important Cargo Security

Cargo security I one of the major issues handled with priority by Homeland security department in United States of America. It is regarded as a positional facilitator in terrorism activities. Another notable factor in implementing security measures for cargo was theft as a direct business cost for U.S. It is observed that businesses lost $15b to $30 billion as a loss to cargo theft in 2006. The research further states that personnel access, vehicles access, and proliferation of papers are one of the major causes of cargo theft. It is evident that certain factors have a direct influence on maintaining security for cargo. Technology, processes, procedures, systems, and all of the above human involvement are major issues in cargo security. It requires maintaining a high level of integrity for all these factors to reduce risk in cargo transportation.

The security perspective of cargo is not only concerning sea or road transportations. It also involves air cargo securitization as well. The events of 9/11 are relevant for establishing controls and measure to minimize risk in air cargo as well. The highest level committees and congressional bodies are also involved in making certain assertions in order to maintain air cargo security. These recommendations involved development of inline explosive screenings for airlines and contributions from airline industry to facilitate these developments. However still it is required to maintain a high degree of integrity for employees and staff to maintain secure cargo services. The involvement of human factors in threatening cargo security requires implementation of high level integrations for human and systems for intelligence (Iseby, 2008).

The focus of current research is to provide a detailed account of the human factors involved in cargo security. These risks are elaborated in detail to understand the level of threat posed by various activities of human involvement. Moreover the impacts of these risks on business are also addressed. These strategies and functions required to mitigate these risks provides a significant insight to facilitate organizations in developing effective controls. The legal and regulatory requirements as well as techniques to manage such threats are provided through review of secondary literature. Finally a human and technology integration approach is provided as recommendation for management of globally established businesses. The conclusion is aimed to provide a useful summary of the identified factors, available technology, and applicable laws.

Important factors:

Supply chain management approach is applied to multiple scenarios and businesses throughout the world. The application of supply chain management systems has enabled the implementation of controls and procedures to reduce risks in the logistical processes. However it is important to consider the uncertainties present in the processes and elements of a global supply chain. The risks involved in the handling of international and inland cargo should be evaluated in accordance with the legal and regulatory requirements (Giermanski, 2012).

Furthermore it is also required to addresses multiple factors and their impacts on creating uncertainties in supply chains should be adequately addressed. The inadequate planning and control can lead to multiple cargo security issues. These uncertainties, level of controls and impacts are described as following (Ivanov & Sokolov, 2010). The supply chain security management is a strategic function and polices should be devised to address these issues.

The security issues in supply chain management can have an overall effect on business performance and timely availability of products and services to clients (Ritter, Barrett, & Wilson, 2007). The tactical and operational risk in supply chain management can result into loose cargo security controls. It is advised to maintain safety stocks and allow time buffers to mitigate such risks. The involvement of human errors is also relevant for tactical breach of security control measures. Supply chain coordination, monitoring, and events management strategy is required to maintain risks at minimal levels (Ivanov et al., 2010).

Human Factors:

The dependability of human resources is an integral part of any business process. It is essential to understand the claims that supply chain management has transformed logistics process of small to large sized businesses. Technology has also enabled the elements of supply chains to be automated, monitored, and secured to increase business performance. However the involvement of human factors cannot be undermined. It is important to consider personnel qualifications, knowing the container content, and focusing individuals for cargo security (Giermanski, 2011). The details about these factors are discussed in detail in following sections.

Personnel Qualifications:

The cargo handling and transportation always involves a human contact no matter how technologically innovative and automated supply chain solution have become. It is essential to set clear standards for individuals of all levels involved in direct contact with transportation duties. The research indicates that integrity and trustworthiness of drivers, supervisors, and other personnel should be carefully tested. The possibility of a fraudulent incident can also occur in case certain procedures are not followed. It is also mentioned that personal attitude, change in status, and performance should be conducted on regular basis and continuous monitoring system should also be deployed to minimize cargo risks and security (Ritter et al., 2007).

The factors involved in selection of the best candidate for the job is through implementation of required procedures and updated practices in human resources department. The best possible candidates are selected through a screening process. The screening processes should be clearly designed to incorporate required elements of business security. The performance of human resources departments should be scrutinized in accordance with the personnel screening processes. The screening and selection of trustworthy and integral employees also involves a check on history and review of references provided.

Container Content:

There are commonalities in a number of laws, regulations, and practices involving cargo security as an issue. The four major elements of cargo security are denoted as container content, control in voyage, threat level assessment, and timely exchange of data. The verification and handling of all these activities involves human beings interactions. The verification of container content can be made in following ways (Giermanski, 2011).

The verification conducted at origin through government officials, third party contractors to verify the cargo content. The buyers or sellers baring the expenses of third party verification through government authorized contractors. The representatives authorized to confirm cargo quantity according to documentation. The deployment of Container Security Devices (CSDs) in the container and physical inspection conducted by a company representative or government contracted third part personnel (Giermanski, 2011).

Individual focus:

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) enables the businesses to assign highest level authorities in a corporation as signing authorities of business documentation as well as establishing control procedures within their organizations. It also requires a high level control over implementation of the devised procedures for cargo security relevant for the industry. The applicability of act is also relevant for businesses situated within or outside USA while conducting trading activities. The implementation of the SOX in its self is a highlighting factor to underscore the importance of human factors involvement in conducting business (Giermanski, 2011).

The businesses are highly likely to misrepresent their inventories to create an impact on the financial position, stocks, and revenues. SOX require an accurate reporting of inventories. The value of inventories along with the correct ownership is a significant element of the act. However it is also important to implement procedures and controls in human resources that a correct reporting culture is developed to reflect the accurate outlook of business. The organizations are encouraged to incorporate practices for exact corporate reporting to minimize inventory risks (Giermanski, 2011).

Counterfeit Documents:

The documentation handling is also a significant issue in maintaining supply chains and cargo delivers through sea as well as air freight. The management of organizations plays significant role in establishing procedures and controls to minimize counterfeit documentation. It requires a detailed implementation of procedures to through human resources. The involvement of human factors in preparing and using counterfeit documents cannot be undermined. The individuals gain access to secured facilities at ports and bonded warehouses through counterfeit documents and fake IDs. The practice is usually followed at foreign ports and it is important to implement procedures (Linkov, Wenning, & Kiker, 2007). However it also requires involvement of human factors to devise control for such attempts. Trustworthy business partners and personnel are required to keep an effective watch on such activities.

Attempts to mitigate human factor risks in cargo security:

It is essential to minimize the effects of cargo security issues through various approaches. The essential involvement of human factors as discussed in earlier chapter is a required variable to adopt techniques and practices for efficient human resources management. The selection and hiring processes should be maintained at highest quality levels possible for the business according to cargo requirements and risk assessments performed to support such practices. The involvement of middle to low level staff and access control to storage facilities requires diligent planning and effective control procedures.

Training and development of involved personal also plays a significant role in mitigating these factors. The continuous monitoring and evaluation of…

Sources Used in Document:


Giermanski, J. (2011, June 01). Facing the realities and probabilities of enhancing supply chain security. The Maritime Executive, Retrieved from

Giermanski, J. (2012). Global Supply Chain Security. USA: Rowman & Littlefield.

Iseby, J. (2008). 9/11 Comm Recommendations. USA: Nova Science Pub Incorporated.

Ivanov, D., & Sokolov, B.V. (2010). Adaptive supply chain management. London: Springer verlag.

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