The Role of Governments in Improving Freight Logistics in Queensland. Working Paper 3: Transport Security

Tetther, Clara M. & Ferreira, Luis (2004) The Role of Governments in Improving Freight Logistics in Queensland. Working Paper 3: Transport Security. Queensland Government and Queensland University of Technology.


This report represents the third deliverable of a research project funded jointly by Main Roads and Queensland Transport aimed at identifying the role which all levels of government can play in the process of implementing change in the freight logistics (FL) sector in Queensland.

General • Security is becoming a necessary and essential cost of doing business. • Transportation is a potential and attractive target, that also plays a vital role in: o Prevention and detention o Monitoring and mitigation o Response and recovery. • Growing reliance on virtual systems for control and monitoring opens up vulnerabilities in the communications and virtual transport networks. • Threats to transport security can be in the form of: o Direct physical attack (bombing of infrastructure, hijacking, etc.) o Direct operation attack (viral attack on critical systems, tampering with communication channels, etc) o Tampering with legitimate cargo (introducing biotoxins, etc.) o Use of vehicles as weapons of destruction (9/11 attacks). • Certain elements of the transport infrastructure (eg: the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and other landmarks, are cultural and Western symbolic icons, adding further appeal to terrorism targets.

Supply chain security - the hidden costs • Any security attack can have reaching implications beyond ‘damage’ costs. • Costs of implementing transport security may involve delays and productivity losses. • Who will bear the costs ‘user’, ‘polluter’, or ‘beneficiary’? • Security is seen as ‘public good’ - hence not an attractive ‘investment’ in the competitive market. • Potential cost and magnitude of security task in the transportation sector means that it must be approached systematically and effectively. • Intelligent decision making and assessment tools may potentially assist in the efficient allocation of security resources in targeting high-risk assets and activities.

Securing the supply chain: the problems • Transport network is extensively diverse, necessarily accessible, ubiquitous and entwined in the economy and the community. • Fully integrating security will take many decades, as new systems are developed and implemented, assets are gradually modified and replaced, standard guidelines and regulations are proposed and implemented. • Diversity of users, owners and operators and the extent of the network create a system in which it is almost impossible to totally protect each potential target or perceived vulnerability. • A potentially workable solution includes a layered and holistic approach.

The integrity of the supply chain: common threats • Crime, especially in road transport is currently unreported, thereby increasing the difficultly in accurately assessing the vulnerabilities. • Due to the extent of vulnerabilities and the potential cost of security, security efforts need to be dual-use, efficient and adaptable. • Need to prioritise security criticality so that resources can be assigned effectively. • Need to mesh security measures with other objectives, such as curbing theft, tracking and monitoring cargo, asset management and assuring safe operations. • Intelligence-driven analysis used to detect threats in the virtual network may be adaptable to use in the physical transport network. These methods can enhance the traditional risk assessment for better control and justification of budget and resource decisions. Security needs assessment • Infrastructure needs to be prioritised on criticality, vulnerability and probability. • Infrastructure, vehicles and operations need to be prioritised in order to most effectively use and distribute security resources, concentrating on potential high-risk assets. • There is currently no substitute for the observance of abnormal or suspicious behaviour to the trained human eye. • Available technologies need to be evaluated for their effectiveness as security devices, as well as their adaptability to other transportation objectives. • Multi-faceted holistic layered approach, where each ‘check’ can compensate for failure or shortcomings in the preceding check, appears to offer an effective approach.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 2496
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Keywords: freight, logistics, government, supply chain, transport security, Queensland
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:28

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