Cargo theft is a billion-dollar problem the U.S. faces each year. 80% of world trade is transported by sea, and protecting port operations is one of the most critical challenges faced by the Homeland Security Department. The marine industry loses billions to cargo theft and cargo loss each year; it is estimated that $35 billion is lost in cargo theft annually.
These losses consist of being mislaid, mislabeled, or failing to arrive at their destination, as well as deliberate criminal intent, like breaking into ports to steal goods or pirates attacking crews at gunpoint for their valuable cargo. The latest survey from the World Shipping Council (WSC) estimates that in 2016, the international liner shipping industry transported approximately 130 million containers, with a value of more than $4 trillion.
Six million containers are processed through our national ports each year, and video surveillance is a big part of enhancing container security. With constant video surveillance, it can help to combat terrorism, which is critical when dealing with ports in world trade, as well as the sensitivity of some materials being shipped. With smart analytics, IP Cameras can help detect even certain behaviors or suspicious activity as it happens. With face detection, people counting, and motion sensors, this provides a higher level of security that is certainly needed in this industry.
Another important aspect is protecting cruise ships, and the level of safety for the passengers and vessels can be significantly enhanced by security cameras to monitor activity. Being able to identify threats with motion sensing and other smart analytics is very important. With a high level of security, it will reduce vulnerabilities at our ports and enhance cargo flow.
Shipping containers on autonomous ships, a ship without an actual crew, are attractive targets to cyberpiracy. There is 3D printing that copies security devices to break into boxes. Harbor criminals can create perfect replicas on well-known cable seals and security locks and keys to try and cover their tracks. Video footage of criminals in the act automatically sends alarm alerts and helps to stop some of this theft from occurring.
This is only a part of the puzzle when faced with such a challenging problem in the marine industry and imports and exports of goods. There are many other aspects to protecting port operations that come into play. Still, with today’s modern technology and enhanced security footage, it is most definitely a step in the right direction.