Feds rely on shipper self-policing

NEW YORK CITY — The federal government has not decided what cargo standards to use or whether to impose any at all for smart containers — the major method of shipping goods to the United States, a top official said on Wednesday.

Richard Biter, deputy director of the office of intermodalism at the Transportation Department, said the federal government is still relying on the shipping industry to police itself.

Companies also have added incentives to inspect their own cargo and make sure they are secure, a requirement they must meet to get speedier access through U.S. ports. More than six million containers pass through U.S. ports each year.

An interagency working group has not come up with a definition of a smart container, Biter said, adding that any regulations written will be phased in incrementally.

"You're not going to see a requirement that every container be retrofitted with certain data," Biter told the U.S. Maritime Security Expo meeting here this week.

Biter, who helps oversee container shipments from ship to rail and truck, said it is important to maintain a secure supply chain to fight terrorism.

"We're not at a stage to know what is the best security regime for every container," Biter said.

Nevertheless, private industry is already far ahead, he said. For example, Wal-Mart requires identifying data on every one of its shipments from overseas right down to the package level.

R. James Woolsey, a former director of the CIA and another speaker at the maritime expo, told the gathering that shipping companies are better off being "incentivized by the market rather than have government regulators tell us what to do."

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.