This strategy was developed in response to the SAFE Act which called for the development of strategic plans in order to promote the security of the international supply chain. This was to improve the level of security by curbing the transportation of mass destruction weapons and any other materials which may threaten security in the United States. Terrorists can easily take advantage of the supply chain to transport deadly weapons. This strategy does not replace the existing security measures, it just supplement them to improve the level of security.
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This strategy establishes the overarching framework for the secure flow of cargo through the supply chain and builds on existing national strategies, plans specific to individual segments of the supply chain or transportation system, and numerous programs and tactical programs developed and implemented by appropriate Department components and agencies (Department of Homeland Security, 2007).
In other words, the development of this strategy was a major achievement in the fight against terrorism. This strategy harmonizes its goals with the existing strategies to facilitate the realization of these goals. Supply chain security plays a pivotal role in promoting the general security levels in the nation (GAO, 2008). This strategy is composed of various programs, initiatives, and elements that are built to solve problems in a certain area that they cover in the supply chain. The proposed strategy also aims at identifying the areas which are at higher risks. This identification helps in the allocation of resources. For instance, more resources are directed towards the areas with higher risks.
Purpose and Other Considerations
The main purpose of this strategy was to combat terrorism in the region. This strategy came as a result of threats of terrorist attacks. The supply chain is one of the major areas in which terrorists can take the advantage to transport mass destruction weapons.
Based on the directions by the SAFE Port Act in 2006, the Department of Homeland Security was obliged in developing and implementing a strategy to improve the security of the international supply chain through the cargo supply. This strategy was meant to be integrated with the already existing measures which had been laid down to promote the security of the cargo supply (Barton, 2011).
The strategy was developed upon the realization that more efforts were needed to curb terrorism cases which were rising by then. It was realized that the existing strategies need to be supplemented if terrorism was to be eliminated in the cargo supply chain. This strategy was to reflect the work that had already been established by the agencies involved in the cargo supply chain (Department of Homeland Security, 2007).
As already noted, this strategy does not aim at the elimination of any plan which has already been established. The major purpose is to give an outline and tactical plans associated with the already existing plans (Department of Homeland Security, 2007). In other words, this strategy will significantly boost the already established measures in maximizing the security level in the cargo supply chain.
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For instance, the establishment of this strategy was a major boost to the National Response Plan. The National Response Plan gives direction on how the United States will respond to a certain incident in terms of roles and responsibilities, communication among other things. This strategy promotes the effectiveness of the National Response Plan by outlining the strategic intent of the department based on the trade recovery and supply chain security. This strategy, therefore, plays an important role in boosting the effectiveness of the existing measures by giving appropriate guidance.
This strategy also gives the security efforts from the country from which the container originates up to the port of the United States as well as its release from the port to the area of destination within the country. This close severance ensures that there is no dangerous weapon that finds its way in the United States. Through thorough inspection during the stuffing of the cargo as well as unloading in the United States, this strategy has significantly improved the level of security in the country.
However, this strategy concentrates mostly on the cargo entering into the domestic ports. Otherwise, the trading partners are bound to come up with their appropriate measures on the cargo entering into their ports. However, some security measures call for bilateral agreements between the trading partners. For instance, the Secure Freight Initiative requires the trading partners to come up with an agreement. Otherwise, this strategy cannot be effective if there is no agreement between the partners.
Finally, this strategy describes trade resumption efforts and provides a generalized decision tree for the prioritization of vessels and cargo in case the supply chain is disrupted (Pierre and Stewart, 2008). This guides the decision-making process.
As already noted, this strategy aimed at maintaining security for the cargo from the country of origin until the cargo reaches the domestic port. This strategy is based on the idea that the security level in the international supply chain can only be fully realized through end to end critical examination of the cargo at strategic points. This strategy, therefore, puts more emphasis on the shipment of goods from foreign origin to the United States destinations. In other words, the strategy does not concentrate on the movement of the goods from the United States to other destinations. As already noted, trading partners are supposed to put their specifications to promote international supply chain security in their countries.
This strategy also promotes the measures aimed at facilitating cooperation with foreign trading partners in ensuring maximum security for the containers heading to the United States. Cooperation with the trading partners is very important because its support will significantly determine the effectiveness of these safety measures. In connection to this, this strategy implements initiatives to eradicate any threat to the United States ports posed by the international cargo reaching the domestic ports. This strategy also includes the protocols for resumption in case any disruption on transportation takes place, which is important in cargo security (Global Security Verification, 2011. The Department of Homeland Security is the leading partner in this strategy. This department plays a major role in the implementation of this strategy.
In an attempt to realize maximum safety of the cargo from the countries of origin as well as in the transit up to distribution level at the domestic market, this strategy is led by several principles. These principles form the framework through which these goals can be realized.
The first principle is accurate data and information sharing (Ritter, Barrett and Wilson, 2007). Appropriate information is necessary in enhancing cargo security both at the point of origin as well as in the domestic ports (Paula, 2011). To have accurate data, there is a need to have advanced electronic information which can help in the detection of any security threat in cargo. It is also important to ensure that the information is retrieved from reliable sources. Otherwise, unreliable information will yield very unsatisfactory results in this case.
It is also important to note that this information should be exchanged between the United States officials and the countries of origin. However, this information should never be disclosed to unintended parties as this may pose a threat (Wagner and Bode, 2009).
The next principle is secure cargo. Secure cargo ensures that the cargo reflects the specifications electronically forwarded to the authorities (Grillot, Cruise, and D’erman, 2010). This helps in the elimination of any chances of individuals or materials being combined with genuine cargo. For instance, this step is of great importance to avoid any stuffing of unwanted material into a specific cargo during the stuffing process in the factories.
On the other hand, the principle of the secure transit promotes a procedure which ensures that the cargo remains secure from the moment it enters and moves through the supply chain. This facilitates the detection of any threat during transit. Its implementation ensures that appropriate response protocol is enacted in case the security is threatened. International standards and compatible regulations are also necessary for cargo security. There is a need to have a clear guideline on how to handle every security threat including the detection of such threats.
Strategic Element and Methodology
According to the Department of Homeland Security report (2007), this strategy was developed using the multi-tiered approach. The methodology was aimed at realizing an effective strategy that could lead to the maximum security of the international supply chain. In the development of the initial draft, the subject matter was consolidated from various experts from the component agencies. The information gathered at this stage played a pivotal role in the development of the strategy. The formulated draft was then passed through an intensive review. The review was passed through the department staff, non-DHS agencies as well as the private sector. After a thorough review by various parties, corrections followed taking into account the recommendations from viewers as well as the consultants. After the review by the Department of Homeland Security, it was then passed for formal Department Review after which it was submitted for final interagency clearance (Thomas, 2010).
The fact that the cargo passes through different jurisdictions makes the facilitation of the cargo security more complicated. In some cases, cargo may pass through several nations which may have different jurisdictions before reaching its destination. This makes the process of maintaining cargo security more involving. Due to the differences in jurisdictions, the US liaises with the trading partners in order to assist them in enhancing the security of the cargo heading to the United States.
On the other hand, the United States Coast Guard has the responsibility of protecting the environment, public, economic and security interests in the maritime region. This body also protects America’s coasts and ports as well as international wasters. The role of guarding the United States borders is entitled to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In conclusion, this discussion has clearly shown that the Strategy to Enhance International Supply Chain Security has played a significant role in improving the level of security. This strategy helped in the identification of the areas with high risks. This enables the responsible parties in the allocation of resources. This discussion has shown that this strategy was meant to boost the performance of the already existing strategies. It acted as a supplement in facilitating the realization of the security goals through the already established measures. This strategy does not pay more attention to the shipment of the goods from the domestic ports. This responsibility is left for the trading partners to ensure the security of the goods entering into their ports. The scope of the strategy is therefore on the shipment of goods from the place of origin to the time it arrives at the domestic destination.
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Barton, M. (2011). How to Troubleshoot Borders.
Department of Homeland Security, (2007). Strategy to enhance International Supply Chain Security. Web.
GAO. (2008). Supply Chain Security. Report to Congressional Requesters. GAO-08-187.
Global Security Verification. (2011). U.S. Ports. Web.
Grillot, S., Cruise, R. and D’erman, V. (2010). Protecting Our Ports: Domestic and International Politics of Containerized Freight Security. England: Ashgate.
Paula. (2011). Strategy to Enhance International Supply Chain Security. Web.
Pierre, D and Stewart, R. (2008). International Logistics; the Management of International Trade Operations. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Ritter, l., Barrett, M. and Wilson, R. (2007). Securing Global Transportation Networks: A Total Security Management Approach. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional.
Thomas, A. (2010). Supply chain security: international practices and innovations in moving goods safely and efficiently, Volume 1. California: ABC-CLIO.
Wagner, S and Bode, C. (2009). Managing Risk and Security: The Safeguard of Long-Term Success for Logistics Service Providers. Switzerland: Haupt Verlag AG.