Ports Fight Security Breaches & Possible Funding Reductions

The nation’s seaports, which handle freight traffic as well as cruise and ferry passengers, continue to face physical threats like terrorism or active shooters as well as ever-increasing concerns about cyber warfare. Amidst all this, they have been doing battle on Capitol Hill to retain current levels of port security funding from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

CBP staff serve as the first line of defense in checking freight and manning nuclear detection portals for containers, says John Young, surface transportation and freight legislation policy director for the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). AAPA estimates that U.S. ports annually handle 1.2 billion metric tons of foreign trade cargo, including millions of cargo containers, as well as 11 million international cruise passengers.