There are a number of national and international government programs that can help secure the supply chain.

High level video surveillance and analytics. Detectors that alert on intruders, radiation, bio-terrorist materials. Dirty bombs. Facial recognition that searches a database of photographs.

They have their place but supply chain security executives also see great business value in programs, processes and procedures, many mandated by government or encouraged by groups or businesses.

Security Magazine talked with Ryder System’s top executives, Bill Anderson, Group Director, International Safety, Health and Security, and Tom Wojciechowski, Manager Customs Security. While they see value in programs that directly impact transportation companies and their security efforts, many national and international manufacturing companies also must be aware or follow the programs, too.


According to Anderson, C-TPAT is a joint government and private program that aims at improving supply chain security. “Firms must apply to this program for certification but once accepted you must meet the program standards.”

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is a voluntary supply chain security program led by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) focused on improving the security of private companies’ supply chains with respect to terrorism. It’s gone beyond the anti-terrorism goal. Almost 10,000 companies now participate.

Types of participants in C-TPAT include:
  • U.S. importers of record.
  • U.S./Canada and U.S./Mexico highway carriers.
  • Rail, sea and air carriers.
  • U.S. marine port authority and terminal operators.
  • U.S. air freight consolidators, ocean transportation intermediaries and non-vessel operating common carriers.
  • Mexican manufacturers.
  • Certain invited foreign manufacturers.
  • Licensed U.S. customs brokers.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the benefits of participating in C-TPAT could include:
  • Playing an active role in the war against terrorism.
  • A reduced number of CBP inspections.
  • Priority processing for CBP inspections.
  • Eligibility to attend C-TPAT training seminars.
  • Reduced Customs inspections.
  • Reduced border delays.
  • Entitlement to a CBP account manager.
  • Eligibility for account-based processes.
According to Anderson, “Terrorism over the last five years has become more involved and more mature. There’s also a side benefit in fighting the drug trade. More recently, third party logistics providers have been added."

PIP Program

Partners in Protection (PIP) is a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) program that enlists the cooperation of private industry to enhance border and supply chain security, combats organized crime and terrorism and helps detect and prevent contraband smuggling.

It is a voluntary program with no membership fee. In June 2008, a modernized PIP program was launched which more closely resembles C-TPAT, commented Anderson.

Added Tom Wojciechowski, “There also is Free and Secure Trade or FAST, which expedites crossing across land borders. There are dedicated lanes, less inspection. And an electronic manifest is submitted through a portal. A truck has a transponder. As the truck approaches, the reader reads the transponder and pulls up mandates and the truck goes through.” But you cannot take even a portion of freight that comes from unsecured freight sources.

FAST is a commercial clearance program for known low-risk shipments entering the U.S. from Canada and Mexico. Initiated after 9/11, this trusted traveler/trusted shipper program allows for expedited processing for commercial carriers who have completed background checks and fulfill certain eligibility requirements. More than 87,000 commercial drivers are currently enrolled in the FAST program nationwide.

TWIC Cards

Said Anderson, “Congress mandated more security around the ports. So now unescorted access by truckers needs a TWIC card. The card has biometrics and a digital photo and the person must undergo a threat assessment.” The Transportation Worker Identification Credential or TWIC program is a
Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Coast Guard initiative in the United States. The TWIC program provides a tamper-resistant biometric credential to maritime workers requiring unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities; outer continental shelf facilities and vessels regulated under the Maritime
Transportation Security Act of 2002; and all U.S. Coast Guard credentialed merchant mariners.

An estimated 750,000 individuals will require TWIC. Those seeking unescorted access to secure areas aboard affected vessels, and all Coast Guard credentialed merchant mariners, must possess a TWIC in spring 2009.

Cargo Screening

TSA works increasingly closely with supply chain participants on the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP). On August 3, 2007, President Bush signed into law the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007 requiring the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish a system for the industry to screen 100 percent of cargo transported on passenger aircraft at a level of security commensurate with the level of security of passenger checked baggage within three years. In addition, the legislation set an interim milestone to screen 50 percent of all cargo shipped on a passenger aircraft within 18 months of enactment on February 2009. The impact of the Act is that all cargo uplifted in the U.S. must be screened at the piece level by TSA-approved methods prior to being loaded on to a passenger aircraft.

A caveat, said Anderson, is that the screening is done by the airlines and not TSA.

Added Wojciechowski, if you join some of these programs, you are then part of their regulations.

But there are business benefits as well as security benefits.

In many of the transportation security programs, joining is a business decision. ”There are more reliable and quicker border crossings. We are in the programs to satisfy our customers. It drops down to their bottom line,” concluded Anderson.