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Security Measures in Logistics Management


Since time immemorial, the infrastructure system has been one of the most vulnerable elements of the state system, the primary goal of military occupation. Transportation systems nowadays are prepared to face a range of natural and manmade threats. However, even despite the development of security measures and technology, new threats continue to emerge.

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Functions of the transportation security

The primary functions of the transportation security measures are deterrence and detection; the first one is aimed at the prevention of accidents, while the second refers to the discovery and rapid response to the situation (Mentzer, Myers, & Stank, 2007). McDougall and Radvanovsky (2008, p. 3) define such security elements in the transportation systems as physical security of terminals, physical security of the routes, security of transportation operations, public safety, security of the information infrastructure and communication systems, assessment of potential indirect threats. Speaking of the specific measures of physical security, one may note the installation of fences around the facilities, establishing systems of electronic authentication of the employees and visitors, placing surveillance cameras and other real-time monitoring devices, setting up security patrols (Voeller, 2014, p. 6).

Those measures have proved to be relatively efficient. Modern security technologies such as, for instance, X-ray and chemical sensors facilitate the procedures of cargo inspection. At the same time, such measures and training to use them require big amounts of money, often unaffordable for small transportation companies (Mentzer et al., 2007). Another contradictory factor is the global dependence on information and communication systems. On the one hand, modern technologies speed up the whole process of cargo and passenger transportation, increase cost-effectiveness and facilitate global coordination. At the same time, this dependence makes the transportation and logistics systems exposed to asymmetric threats, such as international terrorism. It is of vital importance for transportation companies to ensure information security. The correspondent measures may include the installation of reliable anti-spy software, encryption of communication, training the employees on how to resist various social engineering techniques (Fok, 2015).

Air transport nowadays is the fastest and one of the most convenient among the transportation means. It plays a significant role in the formation of global logistics networks. Among the main advantages of air transportation Wensveen (2015, p. 156) names time savings, flexibility, comfort, reliability, and increased safety. At the same time, air carriage is more dependent on the outer circumstances and less available than rail or motor; that is why air is often more suitable for passenger transportation than for freight transportation. The air industry is characterized by extremely high operational expenses and dependence on oil prices. Moreover, airplanes contribute to noise pollution and emission of greenhouse gasses (Mentzer, et al., 2007).

The tragic events of 9/11 caused the global reconsideration of air transportation. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, the global airline industry suffered a significant downfall; many companies became bankrupts and disappeared. The air carriers now are forced to “constantly enhance business models to achieve profitability while maintaining a safe and efficient operation” (Wensveen, 2015, p. 6). Security measures have become the most significant part of the air carriers’ performance and a major topic of international airline cooperation. One of the important steps in the recent decades was the establishment of biometrical identification in the airports, initiated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (Wensveen, 2015).


Overall, it can be stated that security is a crucial element of any transportation system. Apart from eternal natural threats, the modern transportation industry has to prevent new and foresee the future threats caused by human activities. Air transport appears to be the most vulnerable to existing and emerging asymmetric threats, which makes it vital for the international community to search for common effective security solutions.


Fok, E. (2015). Cyber security challenges: Protecting your transportation management center. Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal, 85(2), 32-36.

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McDougall, A., & Radvanovsky, R. (2008). Transportation systems security. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Mentzer, J., Myers, M., & Stank, T. (2007). Handbook of global supply chain management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Voeller, J. (2014). Transportation security. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Wensveen, J. (2015). Air transportation: A management perspective. Farham, UK: Ashgate Publishing.

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