Estimating the Operational Impact of Container Inspections at International Ports

Management Science, Forthcoming

37 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2010

See all articles by Nitin Bakshi

Nitin Bakshi

University of Utah

Stephen E. Flynn

Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Noah Gans

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department

Date Written: August 24, 2010

Abstract

A US law mandating non-intrusive imaging and radiation detection for 100% of US-bound containers at international ports has provoked widespread concern that the resulting congestion would hinder trade significantly. Using detailed data on container movements, gathered from two large international terminals, we simulate the impact of the two most important inspection policies that are being considered. We find that the current inspection regime being advanced by the US Department of Homeland Security can only handle a small percentage of the total load. An alternate inspection protocol which emphasizes screening (a rapid primary scan of all containers, followed by a more careful secondary scan of only a few containers that fail the primary test) holds promise as a feasible solution for meeting the 100% scanning requirement.

Keywords: container inspection, supply chain security, homeland security, simulation

JEL Classification: C72, M21, R41, R42

Suggested Citation

Bakshi, Nitin and Flynn, Stephen E. and Gans, Noah, Estimating the Operational Impact of Container Inspections at International Ports (August 24, 2010). Management Science, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1664386

Nitin Bakshi (Contact Author)

University of Utah ( email )

1655 Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, UT Utah 84112
United States

Stephen E. Flynn

Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) ( email )

The Harold Pratt House
58 East 68th Street
New York, NY 10021
United States

Noah Gans

University of Pennsylvania - Operations & Information Management Department ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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