The collaborative project ECSIT is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (in the area of "Securing Supply Chains") within the framework of the Federal Government's "Research for Civil Security" programme. The aim of the research project ECSIT is the development of innovative inspection technologies for increasing container security and the analysis of their implementation potential into an integrated concept.
Due to the increased global threat of terrorism and organized crime on the one hand, and the strong growth in world trade of goods on the other hand, the demand for security solutions in the supply chain has grown considerably. Terrorist attacks using radioactive substances in a freight container would have a severe impact on the global logistics chain. An explosion or the widespread release of highly toxic substances would have devastating consequences. Such attacks must therefore be avoided just as effectively as the smuggling of dangerous substances and goods or weapons. It is also important to ensure that significantly enhanced inspections cannot lead to new uncertainties or new security risks inside port terminals.
The project target is therefore the development of an integrated concept involving all aspects, such as competences and responsibilities of various parties, legislation (national and international), harbour operations and processes, costs and technologies to implement the required safety measures, this while safeguarding and improving the processes and security in the port. The H.R.1 - „100% Scanning Rule“ of the USA requires a substantial increase of the resources needed in ports for the inspection of sea freight containers. The scanning of all containers to be exported to the US cannot be realised with current technology without risking a bottleneck in the port logistics: In the future up to 1,500 containers have to be scanned daily in the container terminal at Bremerhaven.
In the project security risks and requirements of end-users are analyzed explicitly. The implementation of technologies to identify cargos with hazardous materials and the development of fast imaging methods for scanning containers forms a technical challenge of ECSIT. Integration of the technologies into the process chain is necessary, otherwise ongoing operations and port security will be affected. Therefore, the inspection system should be integrated in existing alarm and security systems and related information sources and types. The Container Terminal Bremerhaven will be used to as a show case for the integration of the developed components. Accompanying cost-benefit analysis and a study of legal and policy frameworks are carried through. Objective is the development of an overall concept that can be transferred to other container terminals worldwide.
Through this multidisciplinary approach ECSIT will provide an important contribution to securing supply chains against container security threats and threats against the general public. By including relevant end-users, an advisory board and a user group, the basis for acceptance, usability, standardization and dissemination of results is established in the course of the research project.
ECSIT has been initiated by the Bremen Senator for Economic Affairs and Ports. The project, coordinated by the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics, has a project duration from September 2010 to August 2013.
With the companies Smiths Heimann GmbH, Steria Mummert Consulting, SAP AG and dbh Logistics IT AG, the Bremerhaven terminals EUROGATE, NTB and MSC Gate as well as the research institutes Fraunhofer EMI, Fraunhofer EZRT, the University of Bremen and the Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences, well-known players from industry, science and research are involved as project partners.