The great cargo pat-down

By the time this issue of Payload Asia hits readers’ desks, the fate of air cargo supply chains in the new US 100 per cent screening environment will be clearer. Although no one really expects the US air cargo industry to grind to a halt, there is a realistic expectation of some initial confusion, congestion […]


By the time this issue of Payload Asia hits readers’ desks, the fate of air cargo supply chains in the new US 100 per cent screening environment will be clearer. Although no one really expects the US air cargo industry to grind to a halt, there is a realistic expectation of some initial confusion, congestion and inevitably delays, but to what extent is the million dollar question.

The process has clearly been flawed – for months and years leading up to this crucial turning point the industry was still debating whether screening meant scanning! But just as surely as the famous line, “Yes Virginia, there is Santa Claus,” there is also 100 per cent screening and it does mean 100 per cent scanning. Pretty much all the industry can hope for is some desperately needed fine-tuning. Key hurdles that must be cleared are the need to break down pallets into individual pieces for scanning, as well as testing and approving scanning technologies, including sniffer dogs and other techniques that can be used to screen the cargo. Migrating the system to a risk analysis-based system would also be a major step forward, although at the moment that looks like only a pipe-dream.