Concern remains over peak-season screening

AIR cargo shippers and forwarders say the industry still has a long way to go in screening shipments after meeting the US government requirement of screening 100 per cent of all cargo on passenger aircraft by 1 August.

Despite ominous predictions of doom that the deadline would not be reached, the transition went fairly smoothly. The next hurdle, of 100 per cent screening on freighters is a very different challenge though, with the deadline being shifted back from 2011 to 2013. Before then, however, the current system must be tested through the peak season rush.

“It’s going to get much worse in the next few months,” said Tom Lewandowski, manager of logistic operations for Geodis Global Solutions. “We may not even recognise a security delay versus a capacity delay.”

Airfreight executives say they fear the growing demand during the peak-season will press the limits of screening capabilities, including the ability to keep up this brisk screening pace integral to the time-sensitive nature of most air shipments.

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