On July 7, a supply chain security expert from global container carrier APL outlined practical steps that would help achieve an improvement in the safety of international trade at the Asia Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) Symposium. Focusing on the topic of Total Supply Chain Security, Earl Agron, Vice President of Security for APL, told the high-level audience of government, military and industry leaders in Singapore that the five key steps that would help improve supply chain security were:
1. A concentrated focus on public-private sector collaboration
2. More information for the effective targeting of suspect containers
3. An intelligent regulatory framework; balancing security with trade flow
4. Improved non-intrusive container inspection technology
5. Development of long-term security technology solutions through the collaboration of supply chain stakeholders.
According to Agron, the public sector’s primary responsibility was to protect its citizens. However, the private sector owns and operates much of the supply chain infrastructure that could fall prey to terrorist attack. Agron pointed out that a balance must be struck between the need to secure the supply chain without bringing global trade to a halt. He also renewed his request for harmonized global regulations that could strengthen weak links in the supply chain.
Agron also urged for the more effective deployment of radiation portals and gamma ray detection equipment to screen containers. But he cautioned that new security technologies must be developed collaboratively by supply chain stakeholders.