US cargo screening $1 billion saving

THE Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) air cargo screening programme will cost US$1 billion less than expected.

The administration’s final decision on cargo screening shows that the total cost for the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) over the next 10 years will cost around $1.5 billion and not the $2.8 billion estimated in 2009’s interim rule.

Air forwarders have embraced CCSP and set about screening cargo so it could arrive at the airport ready for loading. For the TSA, managing 15,000 different companies whose primary business is not logistics would have come at a high price.

Because the forwarding community is much smaller than the shipper community, TSA can focus its oversight efforts on forwarders, requiring fewer resources and consequently, a lesser cost.

TSA developed CCSP after Congress passed the 9/11 Act of 2007, which mandated that all cargo carried on passenger aircraft be screened at the piece level before loading. The burden for screening ultimately rested with the air carriers, which do not have the infrastructure or resources needed to screen the 12,500 tons (11,340 metric tonnes) of air cargo shipped daily on passenger aircraft while also maintaining a fluid supply chain.

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