Prevent Defense

After hearing that the officials at the Port of Portland were giving “incentive” payments to shipping lines because of “intentional slowdowns” on the part of longshoremen, we thought we’d heard everything. But compared to the folks at the Department of Homeland Security, those bigwigs up in Oregon are pikers.

Months and months ago the DHS decided that the biggest danger to Americans was from foreigners who would take it upon themselves to smuggle – and detonate – a nuclear device in one of our container ports because they “ hate our freedoms.”

And how does the DHS seek to prevent that? Simple. Just ask those suspect foreigners to inspect every container being loaded aboard their containerships in their overseas ports – and finger the very container they stuffed the bomb in!

Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Like asking a fox to guard the hen house – or Al Capone to ride shotgun on a Brinks truck.

The whole concept is impossible, and for that reason – and for the umpteenth time – the DHS has decided to postpone its implementation. The Director General of the British International Freight Association, Peter Quantrill, stated that “it was hardly surprising” to hear the announcement.

The BIFA, he said, has long maintained that expanding screening with available technology would slow commerce and drive up consumer costs, yet bring no significant consumer benefits. He went on to say that the DHS had underestimated the extent of the task at hand.

“The U.S. Government,” he said, “now doubts whether it would be able to implement the mandate of 100 per cent scanning. It is not the best use of taxpayer resources to meet the USA’s port security and DHS needs.”

The BIFA still believes that the U.S. Government should rebuke the original legislation. So do we. It was, and is, utterly stupid to believe that such a procedure should be given a second thought.

If 100 per cent scanning is ever necessary, its success could only be guaranteed if U.S. ports did the scanning. But we’ve tried that and it can’t work. The chaos and constraints within conventionally-structured terminals restrict scanning/inspection to no more than 10 per cent of incoming containers. The effort and expense was a waste of time and money. It was like playing “Russian Roulette”.

We had a better idea. Our patented container ship gives us access to every single container within the shipboard movable racking system – without disturbing any other container. That being the case, we applied for – and were awarded – a U.S. patent that enables us to scan/inspect 100 per cent of incoming containers, and the entire procedure would be completed while the vessel was still underway and far from our shores. Let’s see how the DHS handles this innovation.