After Attempted Bombing, Can the Global Economy Afford to Increase Cargo Security?

Shippers consider hugely increased costs and complexity of total cargo screening

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Yemeni security are seen outside a branch of the US package delivery firm UPS in Sanaa on October 30, 2010. Yemen launched a probe after explosives were found in air parcels sent to US synagogues. (MOHAMMAD HUWAIS/AFP/Getty)

The bombs found in UPS and FedEx packages last week have raised the issue of security screening for international cargo carriers. Since August 1st, 2010, all cargo loaded onto passenger planes in the U.S. is subject  to mandatory screening, but that isn't the case in many other countries. Only some of the packages traveling on cargo-only flights, on the other hand, are generally screened. Should UPS, FedEx and other shippers be doing more to safeguard air transport?

We speak with Professor Yossi Sheffi, head of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics. He says that with millions or more packages being shipped every night, the cost and complexity of closing the cargo security gap may create more of a problem than a solution.

Guests:

Professor Yossi Sheffi

Produced by:

Kateri A. Jochum

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