Security is a priority issue throughout the world today. The European Commission is proposing steps to implement supply chain security measures that is seen as a necessity to keep European transport systems safe in the face of an unrelenting threat; Terrorism.
The attacks in New York and Madrid are two examples from a long list of terrorist acts over the past few years. Following the 9/11 attacks, the US implemented a series of unilateral measures to improve the security of its imports which to a large extent have set the standard for the security of international trade. The vulnerability of transport systems and infrastructure was highlighted in the summer of 2005 with the terrorist atrocities perpetrated on the London Underground and bus network.
Such terrorist attacks have caused governments to put pressure on the maritime industry to introduce technological and operational security developments. This resulted in the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code on 1 July 2004.
Similar to the 9/11 attacks, the Madrid train bombing has had wide-reaching consequences. Security has become a major concern for the European Commission, which has been developing a number of initiatives to increase security in Europe. Building on the experiences gained from the maritime security measures, the EC is preparing to implement supply chain security legislation for its European land-based supply chain.
With its recognised risk-management competence, DNV rapidly acted on multiple fronts to help ensure safe and secure supply chains. The EC consequently approached DNV to perform an impact study of the EC’s planned supply chain security measures.
“The objective of the EC’s transport security policy is to counter any terrorist threat,” says DNV’s Peter Mackenbach, who was responsible for the security aspects in the study.
“This task was somewhat different from the traditional DNV risk-based approach,” adds Frans Houben, who was project manager for the impact study. He continues “Terrorists follow their own, often unpredictable, rationale. When assessing the risks of accidents, the most severe events usually have the lowest probability of occurrence.
The use of likelihood is therefore not applicable to the definition of a security risk,” explains Houben, “which turns traditional risk-based methodology on its head.”
The DNV team developed a systematic assessment of the transport security risk, based on the identification and assessment of a full range of foreseeable possible terrorist intervention scenarios.
Ready for the next level
The impact study addressed the consequences of possible European legislation to improve the security of transportation by rail, road and inland waterways. Based on the DNV report, the EC decided in February to take the transport security efforts to the next level. New legislation has been developed and proposed for land based transportation security. An extensive co-decision process with the European Parliament, the member states and the industry will begin, according to Houben and Mackenbach.
Costly security measures?
The implementation of transport security management measures sounds like a costly affair for the European member countries. However, Houben and Mackenbach emphasise that a great many of the measures that are suggested already have been implemented throughout most of Europe.
“Multinationals and other major companies are implementing a wide range of security measures on their own initiative, but still such an extensive implementation cannot happen without considerable investments,” Mackenbach underlines.
The DNV team also looked into the investment scenario in its study. In the event that the full range of recommendations is implemented, an investment approaching 60 billion Euros affecting 4.7 million companies will be required.
“Positive side effects of such a large investment in security measures should be highlighted. These include reduced theft, efficiency improvements – ultimately delivering operating cost reductions – and market benefits related to reputation and consumer confidence,” the two risk management professionals conclude.
Principal DNV consultant. Has a background in Civil Engineering and Supply Chain Management. As a risk professional he is dealing with high risk projects in rail, aviation and intermodal transport. As a result of the Madrid attack in 2004 he became involved in anti-terrorism studies in the area of critical infrastructure and the vulnerability of transportation in Europe.
Principal DNV consultant. Following the 9/11 attacks he has been active in putting security of the non-maritime part of the supply chain on the global agenda. He is co-convener of the working group which is developing the ISO/PAS 28000 series on supply chain security management systems.