AMERICAS:US report slams air cargo security

The Department of Homeland Security has found hundreds of security breaches at facilities across the country, warning that passengers are at risk from flaws in screening air cargo and a lack of background checks on freight handlers. The report comes at a bad time for forwarders and transport service operators flying air cargo into the […]


The Department of Homeland Security has found hundreds of security breaches at facilities across the country, warning that passengers are at risk from flaws in screening air cargo and a lack of background checks on freight handlers. The report comes at a bad time for forwarders and transport service operators flying air cargo into the country.

By August next year, all belly cargo entering the US must have been 100 per cent screened, a deadline the transport industry has said will be impossible to meet. It is lobbying intensely on Capitol Hill to have the deadline extended or the requirements relaxed.

Thirty percent of 6,767 cargo inspections by the Transportation Security Administration found security violations between October 2007 and June 2008, said Homeland Security inspector general Richard Skinner. “Air cargo is vulnerable to the introduction of explosives and other destructive items before it is loaded onto planes, potentially creating risks for the traveling public,” Skinner wrote in the report released yesterday in Washington.