Every day, about 17,000 cargo containers enter U.S. ports, yet only one or two percent of them is routinely inspected. Since Sept. 11, government officials and global supply chain experts have been focusing on vulnerabilities and potential solutions to help ensure that weapons of mass destruction are not concealed in international cargo shipments.
The formation of a new group of prominent supply chain thought leaders experienced in both the private and public sectors is being announced at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America's annual conference. Organized with assistance from Savi Technology, the Strategic Council on Security Technology is an international assembly of top executives from the world's largest port operators, major logistics technology providers, four-star generals, former public officials and recognized transportation consultants.
The Strategic Council on Security Technology is committed to the exploration and adoption of enabling technologies and business practices that improve global supply chain security and productivity by:
Reviewing emerging technology trends, business processes and government policy in supply chain and transportation security;
Commissioning new studies, authoritative reports and industry initiatives to foster a better understanding of today's full range of practical security options;
Developing synthesized insights on new solutions; and
Acting as a resource for the global supply chain community.
"There are a number of well documented security gaps throughout the supply chain, but there are also a number of enabling technologies and best business practices that can close them," said Gen. John Coburn, formerly the commanding general of the U.S. Army Material Command, who will serve as chairman of the Council. "Our group aims to identify and bring to light the most practical approaches for improving the security of the global supply chain while also enhancing productivity," said Coburn, who is currently chairman and chief executive officer of the North Americas subsidiary of Singapore Technologies.
"The major issue surrounding global commerce has shifted in the past year from a focus on free trade to a focus on free and secure trade," said Sam Banks, formerly the Deputy and Acting Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Commission who is also an inaugural member of the Strategic Council on Security Technology. "The importance of advancing a new generation of technologies that both improve security and economic productivity cannot be overstated."
"This is an extraordinary group of powerhouse leaders, comprising executives who operate a vast majority of the world's ports, who have commanded the world's largest logistics organizations for all branches of the military, who run market-leading technology companies for transportation operations and who are highly recognized in government, industry and academia," said Vikram Verma, Savi's chief executive officer.
Founding members of the Strategic Council for Security Technology are:
Gen. John Coburn, recently retired four-star general who was formerly commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, and was instrumental in implementing the U.S. Department of Defense's Total Asset Visibility (TAV) network -- the world's largest real-time freight tracking infrastructure. Gen. Coburn is now chairman and chief executive officer of VT Systems, a subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd. (SGX: ST ENGG), one of Asia's leading engineering groups. Coburn will serve as chairman of the Council.
Sam Banks, formerly Deputy and Acting Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Commission and an internationally recognized expert in trade and customs law. Banks is now with the international trade consulting and law firm, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg.
John Meredith, who for 30 years has been group managing director of Hutchison Port Holdings, a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, (HKEx: H.HUW), which is the world's largest port operating company, managing 30 ports in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
Douglas Anderson, managing director of P&O Ports, one of the world's leading port operators with 21 container terminals in 19 countries and in 84 ports. Mr. Anderson has worked in a number of increasingly responsible executive positions worldwide at P&O Ports since joining the company in 1966.
Ng Chee Keong, deputy group president (terminals), president (container terminals division) and deputy president (International Business Division) for PSA Corporation Ltd (Port of Singapore), which handles 25 percent of the world's container transshipment volumes and more than 7 percent of the world's total container throughput. He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 1997 by the Singapore Government.
Gen. Walter Kross, retired Air Force four-star general who was Commander-in-Chief of DoD's U.S. Transportation Command, who was responsible for extending the TAV network. With 38 years of global transportation experience, Gen. Kross also was partner and managing director of KPMG Consulting Inc.'s (Nasdaq:KCIN - news) global transportation practice in Atlanta. Prior to that, he was director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. During the Persian Gulf
War, he was Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Transportation Command, and in that role he was instrumental in directing the largest transportation operation since World War II. Today, he is president and chief executive officer of Flight Explorer.
Dr. Hau Lee, who is the Kleiner, Perkins
, Mayfield, Sequoia Professor at the Stanford University School of Engineering and the Graduate School of Business, and the founder and director of the Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum. Professor Lee co-founded Nonstop Solutions, a company specializing in B2B electronic replenishment, and is a leading authority in supply chain management, security and information technology.
Chris Wolfe, president of QUALCOMM Wireless Business Solutions (QWBS), a division of QUALCOMM Incorporated (Nasdaq:QCOM - news), has over 20 years of transportation and logistics industry experience, ranging from business strategic planning to advanced information systems planning, development and implementation. Mr. Wolfe has led QWBS to an industry-leading position in wireless tracking for the fleet transportation industry.
Michael Wolfe, principal of the North River Consulting
Group, was formerly responsible for logistics and intermodal systems at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) national research center. Mr. Wolfe is an expert on the interplay between logistics systems, tracking technologies, economics, and security. He recently completed a major report for DOT on Freight Transportation Security
Retired Rear Admiral Carl
Seiberlich, who after retiring from the U.S. Navy organized the U.S. Maritime Resource Center, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, held executive positions with American President Lines (SGX: NOL), served as a consultant for transportation and military programs at VZM/TranSytems Corporation. He was previously chairman of the Delaware River Maritime Enterprise Council, and currently is a liaison with the International Maritime Organization.