Doing The Math

It has been estimated that “9 million containers enter U.S. seaports each year”. At least that was the estimate for this year. It’ll be higher next year and still higher the year after that. But for now let’s use the 9 million figure. Stephen Flynn, who knows something about maritime security, tells us that to equip containers with “smart box” technology would cost between $ 10 and $ 20 per use over the life of a container. So at a minimum, 9 million containers per year at $ 10 per container comes to $ 90 million dollars per year for “smart box” technology … assuming that we’ll never see more than 9 million containers each year and that the cost will be kept to $ 10 per use.

Heritage Foundation Defense and Homeland Security Senior Researcher, James Carafano, must have done the math already. He stated that spending money on smart-box technology would not give shippers the most bang for their security buck and isn’t the most logical next step in security.

Deputy Homeland Security Secretary James Loy didn’t even mention smart-box technology at the Washington Conference on Maritime Counter-Terrorism on October 14th. He was concerned with the volume of containers and the several “programs” being used to monitor maritime cargo.

Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner was mistakenly advised recently that a risk assessment is done on every container heading to the U.S., and that 100 percent of those identified are inspected using large-scale x-ray machines and radiation detection equipment. Because of information that has since been brought to his attention he can now state that, although there are plenty of technology initiatives being studied, there isn’t enough being done to produce workable tools to combat terrorism. In other words, Senator Schumer, Senator Kerry, and a number of others, were correct when they were criticizing the inadequacy of our container inspection/scanning program.

So here’s what we can gather from these authoritative reports:
• $ 90 million per year is too much to pay for …
• … “smart box” technology that isn’t effective and isn’t logical …
• … and is just one of the programs now in use …
• … in a failed effort to deal with a situation that places all Americans at risk.

Please review our “Method Of Operation” and our “Homeland Security” website pages. In our patented system every container must pass through an x-ray scanner before it can be stored. This existing scanner technology is already in use, its cost is widely known, and for much, much less than the conservative estimate (above) of $ 90 million per year for questionable “smart box” technology, every incoming container will be inspected/scanned. There should be no room for speculation where the threat of terrorism is concerned. The perfect solution is available and affordable.

With respect to the lack of success with smart-box technology, Mr. Bonner stated that, “This is the one gap that has been very vexing in terms of getting it done … I don’t know why we can’t do that to a container”.