The Canadian government and the Vancouver Port Authority have agreed to install gamma ray equipment to create a "smart border" by scanning for contraband in containers passing through the Port of Vancouver.
This new technology, designed to complement additional manual inspections, can safely and non-intrusively inspect containers at the rate of one per minute, Canadian officials said. Purchased by the VPA for $2.5 million, the gamma ray equipment will be operated by local customs and revenue agency officers at the three container terminals.
"Canada's customs agency is committed to ensuring the safety and security of cargo entering and leaving the country," said Blake Delgaty, regional customs director. "The container screening equipment will complement our existing technology and significantly enhance our abilities to protect the border and to facilitate low-risk trade here in Vancouver."
Activities at the Port of Vancouver generate 62,000 jobs and produce $1.3 billion in wages, said David Stowe, chairman of the VPA. The Port of Vancouver is Canada's largest port, trading more than $29 billion in goods with more than 90 nations. Over 76.6 million tons of cargo was shipped through the port in 2000, with over one million containers passing through the port each year, he added.