Supply-chain security activities aim to enhance the security of the supply chain or value chain, the transport and logistics system for the world’s cargo. Their objective is to combine traditional practices of supply-chain management with the security requirements driven by threats such as terrorism, piracy, and theft.
Typical supply-chain security activities include:
- Credentialing of participants in the supply chain
- Screening and validating of the contents of cargo being shipped
- Advance notification of the contents to the destination country
- Ensuring the security of cargo while in-transit via the use of locks and tamper-proof seals
- Inspecting cargo on entry
There are a number of supply-chain security initiatives around the world, including:
- The Customs Trade Partnership against Terrorism (C-TPAT), a voluntary compliance program for companies to improve the security of their corporate supply chains.
- The World Customs Organization (WCO) adopted the Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade in 2005, which consists of supply-chain security standards for Customs administrations including authorized economic operator (AEO) programs.
- The Container Security Initiative (CSI), a program led by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) focused on screening containers at foreign ports.
- The Global Container Control Programme (CCP), a joint United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)/World Customs Organization (WCO) initiative working to establish effective container controls at select ports across the globe with the aim to prevent trafficking of drugs, chemicals and other contraband and to facilitate trade by strengthening cooperation between the customs, trade and enforcement communities.
- The Global Trade Exchange, a DHS data-mining program designed to collect financial information about shipments, with the objective of determining the safety of cargo shipments.
- Efforts for countries around the world to implement and enforce the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), an agreement of 148 countries that are members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
- Pilot initiatives by companies in the private sector to track and monitor the integrity of cargo containers moving around the world using technologies such as RFID and GPS.
- The BSI Group undertakes an annual survey of supply chain risk exposure, identifying and updating the main supply chain security concerns. In its 2020 report, drug smuggling, cargo theft of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and increasing warehouse and facility theft were identified as particular concerns.
- The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has released a series of Standards for the establishment and management of supply-chain security. ISO/PAS 28000 Specification for Security Management Systems for the Supply Chain, offers public and private enterprise an international high-level management standard that enables organisations to utilize a globally consistent management approach to applying supply-chain security initiatives. ISO/IEC 20243 is The Open Trusted Technology Provider Standard (O-TTPS) (Mitigating Maliciously Tainted and Counterfeit Products) that addresses supply-chain security and secure engineering.
- The EU-US Summit held in Lisbon in November 2010, highlighting the need for their international “partnership to bring greater prosperity and security” for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic, provided a foundation for the Transatlantic Economic Council to build on, announcing at its December 2010 meeting an agreement “to deepen transatlantic cooperation in supply chain security policies”.