Securing Global Supply Chains

ISO, Smart and Secure Tradelanes partner to form basis for future ISO standards for internodal supply chain security

Geneva, Switzerland — May 15, 2003 — In a move to partner the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) with the Strategic Council on Security Technology, the organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding stating that the two parties would work together as a basis for the international pilot program announced by ISO's technical committee on ships and marine technology (ISO/TC8) at the 22nd Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

In addition, ISO selected Smart and Secure Tradelanes (SST) for the basis for its program because of its global scope and promise that the initiative will influence how technology is deployed to enhance the security and visibility cargo shipments within and between countries.

The program, which was conceived and launched by ISO/TC 8, is meant to address the identification of existing security gaps, as well as propose solutions to global intermodal supply chain security concerns, through the development of standards for implementation by the international trade community.

According to the organizations, the intermodal supply chain standards will be developed under the guidance of an International Standards Group led by the Chair of ISO/TC8 and comprised of several Chairs of other ISO technical committees and subcommittees.

ISO's technical committee on ships and marine technology said it would examine the technologies, processes, business practices, data and operational results of the initial phase of the SST initiative. It has already been implemented in over 12 of the world's busiest tradelanes as a means to baseline current practices, identify security gaps and propose standards-based solutions that address the security concerns over the movement of cargo containers as a core element of shipping goods through global supply chains.

The technical committee said it planned to use the information gathered through its work with the SST initiative to make recommendations of new procedures for maintenance and transfer of cargo custody, new data that needs to be collected, means by which current and additional data is collected and transmitted, sensor interfaces and modes of data communication, the means to search or access the data on an as needed and as authorized basis, and training requirements.

More than 40 SST partners are already building a global information network and infrastructure that enables real-time visibility of the location from their point of origin to their final destination. SST is designed to complement U. S. Homeland Security initiatives, including the Container Security Initiative (CSI), Customs Trade Partners Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Operation Safe Commerce (OSC).

"By working with the partners of the SST initiative, we will be able to achieve the objective of our program, which is to define the physical security of cargo and transportation assets, the structure of information systems, associated processes and international business practices; produce data, process and technology solutions supporting intermodal security and effectiveness that enhance cargo security by providing confidence in container status, location and history; and preserve 'company proprietary information' and minimize commercial disruption," stated Captain Charles Piersall, chair of ISO/TC 8. "Our work with SST will be key to both accelerating the standards development process and to forming a working industry/government coalition to implement the standards."

"From the outset, SST was designed to be an open platform, adopting technologies that comply with international standards to ensure excellence, seamless communication and interoperability," said General John Coburn (US Army, Ret.), chairman of the Strategic Council on Security Technology (SCST), a global advisory resource and sponsor of the SST initiative. "No single technology can eliminate the vulnerabilities in todayÕs complex supply chain," he added. "That's why it's so important to adopt a holistic approach to security — one that can address the complexity and scale of today's global supply chain by incorporating multiple best-of-breed technologies that inter-operate under a common set of international standards."

Since SST was launched last summer during a joint press conference by the Strategic Council on Security Technology and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Smart and Secure Tradelanes said it has begun implementing infrastructure in major seaports in Asia, Europe and the United States. It has also shipped several hundred containers affixed with electronic seals that communicate with a global information network bridged by the Internet. SST is composed now of more than 40 partners, including port operators, shippers, transportation service providers and solution providers.

The ISO/TC8 program includes an International Advisory Group comprised of senior management of major international organizations, the Ambassador to IMO from Panama, the European Union Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, several Offices of the United Nations, and others.