HALIFAX, N.S. — Two major Canadian ports took the first steps yesterday towards creating a harmonized security system with their American cohorts.
Port officials from Halifax and Montreal met to discuss ways of developing a tracking system that would trace goods from overseas factories, through Canadian ports to their final destinations in the New England states.
With the eastern cities acting as gateway ports into the northeastern U.S., officials on both sides of the border need to work together on tightening security, says George Malec, vice-president of operations and security at the Halifax Port Authority.
“We should be looking at a seamless security solution and integrated security measures to make cargo move effectively in and out,” says Malec.
Currently, 17 per cent of the 500,000 containers that pass through Halifax every year are destined for the U.S. Only about three per cent of the total containers are examined by port inspectors.
Fifty-five per cent of Montreal’s 1.1 million containers are also shipped south annually.
The preliminary meeting looked at the U.S. initiative, Operation Safe Commerce, that is developing technologies to track containers moving into North America.
They see Halifax and Montreal as perfect ports for pilot projects because of their close ties with New England, as well as the volume of shipping traffic.
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