The strange but true case last month of Charles McKinley shipping himself from New York to DeSoto, TX, in a wooden crate demonstrated that transportation security is far from flawless in the U.S. Indeed, two years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, results of efforts to beef up the security of our transportation infrastructure remain decidedly mixed.
The Container Security Initiative, which protects containerized shipping from exploitation by terrorists, according to CBP commissioner Robert Bonner, involve deploying special teams to 20 major ports. Eleven more ports are expected to join the program over the next few years.
CBP has also doubled the number of personnel assigned to monitor cargo crossing into the country from Canada and Mexico.
The U.S. government has also developed an initiative with the Canadian government, Free and Secure Trade (FAST), designed to expedite processing at the border for companies that increase security within their supply chain.
However, other security efforts remain stalled. For one, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has decided to delay the implementation of fingerprint-based background checks for drivers who haul hazardous materials - an effort that would require checking an estimated 1.1-million drivers licensed to carry such goods.