Press Release: Securing the Supply Chain


  • Date: 16/05/2010

17 May 2010

The TT Club, in collaboration with ICHCA’s International Security Panel, launches a new handbook on Supply Chain Security. It is intended as a guide to operators on how best to enhance value through effective security implementation

The world economic and political landscape in the first decade of the 21st Century has been overshadowed as much by the events of September 11th 2001 as any financial crisis. Governments around the world have moved to counter the unseen and intangible threat of global terrorism. Since transport is the web which holds the global economy together, systems transporting people and goods have become targets for terrorist groups.

A new publication, jointly researched and written by TT Club and ICHCA’s International Security Panel, aims to define the principles of security in the supply chain and to guide all operators in the supply chain on how to enhance value through effective security implementation. The new handbook – ‘Supply Chain Security - Management, initiatives & technologies’ – not only promotes good practice but also explains why security need not be seen as an unnecessary drain on resources and can actually provide a significant contribution to the bottom line.

Ports and cargo handling terminals – as key nodal points – are vulnerable links in the supply chain from the security point of view. However, all operators throughout the supply chain are exposed to security issues and commercial realities mean that the effective integration of security regimes into business workflow is critical.

A number of initiatives have been developed on supply chain security, and have gone some way to improve security – for instance TT Club has noted a fall of around 30% in the number of incidents of pilferage and theft at ports since 2002 when ISPS was implemented. But, as Carina Dixon, who chairs ICHCA’s International Security Panel, points out these initiatives had limited value in international terms. “The real problem with such protocols is enforcement and reciprocity. Although many countries signed up to the ISPS Code, enforcement remains the responsibility of the ship’s flag state or the country in which a port was based. What is lacking is a globally verifiable and universally accepted standard”, she observes.

The answer in part is provided by ISO 28000:2007 ‘Specification for Security Management Systems for the Supply Chain’, which provides what ISO terms “A high-level management standard that enables an organisation to establish an overall supply chain security management system”. In other words, a means of analysing the security implications of systems and practices currently in use, so that the operator can adapt the way things are done to meet security requirements.

TT Club’s Risk Management Director, Peregrine Storrs-Fox, believes there are a number of practical benefits to be gained from adopting ISO 28000. “The standard has been designed to incorporate most of the requirements of the various security regulations and initiatives now in force, so by adopting ISO 28000, operators will automatically be complying with these regulations – it’s a sort of security one-stop-shop”, says Storrs-Fox.

The TT Club continues to encourage its members to adopt ISO 28000. The standard offers a systematic approach to security management that can both improve operational capabilities and increase confidence on the part of customers and regulators. All businesses that are reliant on the supply chain for business continuity will benefit by adopting the sound management principles in ISO 28000.

Storrs-Fox asserts that ISO 28000 offers a different approach to supply chain security, “If you look at security from an operational management perspective, and integrate it with your management systems, then you can start to see how it can work for you and bring benefits. It’s a question of making security part of the way you manage your business”, he went on. In the longer term, being certified to ISO 28000 is likely to deliver competitive advantage. Customers will be more inclined to contract with those who are following good practice in security matters. It will demonstrate to customers, business partners and employees a company’s commitment to effective security practices and the protection of their personnel, goods and assets.

The booklet is available both in printed form and in a web-based version, the latter providing links to further information. It will be available free to Members of the TT Club and ICHCA International, and can be purchased by non-members at £36 through the TT Club website www.ttclub.com and from ICHCA at www.ichca.com

A full archive of all TT Club news releases and photographs is available from the ISIS Communications Press Room at www.isiscomms.com

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