U.S. Sen. Patty Murray
(D-WA) recently announced a $28 million pilot program called "Operation
Safe Commerce" to provide an end-to-end security procedure
for commercial cargo containers.
"We don't know much
about what's in cargo containers, where they've come from, or
where they're going," Murray said. "It's clear we need
a system to help track and monitor container cargo from the point
of origin to the ultimate destination."
The plan calls for cataloguing
and inspecting U.S.-bound cargo at the ports of Singapore and
Hong Kong and enabling U.S. authorities to track the shipments
through their entry into Seattle and Tacoma and on to their final
destination, either by rail or truck.
Commenting on the proposal,
Todd Spencer, vice president, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers
Association, said monitoring trucks to their final destination
is not needed.
"While we applaud
Senator Murray's efforts in making certain that all container
cargo is inspected before it enters the United States, monitoring
and tracing those containers after they've been inspected wouldn't
increase security," Spencer said. "In fact, it would
significantly increase costs for transportation providers. If
terrorists can get a dirty bomb or container filled with anthrax
or small pox into the United States, national security has already