No “silver bullet” for transport security threats says tech expert

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (April 23, 2004) — Technology promises better security for carriers and the goods they transport, but there is no “silver bullet” to eliminate security threats, according to Marc Mitchell.

Mitchell, who is with software and systems provider Enterprise Information Solutions Inc., spoke at the annual conference of the ATA’s Safety & Loss Prevention Management Council in Scottsdale, Ariz., earlier this week.

“There is no single new technological discovery that promises to radically change or solve the security issues we face today,” Mitchell told the audience. “However, we are currently at a juncture where a number of key technologies have matured to the point where it is now possible, and affordable, to integrate them in a manner that minimizes freight loss and ensures the security of goods in transit.

“For example, the ability to communicate wirelessly with equipment on the road to track and monitor a vehicle’s location and communicate directly with its engine system, conveying instructions that restrict or impair its mobility, are all capabilities that have been around for more than a decade.

“But is it only recently that solutions are coming to market that combine all of those functions into one package that is affordable, given thin business margins of the transportation industry. Furthermore, the combining of technologies means that the solutions can address more than just our security needs. For example, they can assist in route optimization, pickup and delivery assignment communication and equipment utilization. In this way, ROI justification can include additional efficiencies beyond those of security alone and make purchasing decisions easier to commit to.”

Mitchell also cited RFID as a technology that is not necessarily new but is now providing many potential benefits for ensuring that valuable merchandise doesn’t “grow legs” while moving through the supply chain.

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