Hit the books

Hit the books

Cargo security, born originally out of the long-standing need to counter shipment and inventory theft, was instantly redefined by the events of Sept. 11. Today's cargo security demands an approach that - in the words of Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner - "pushes the borders out," requiring a broader range of skill-sets, physical tools and supporting procedures to counter a new foreign-based threat.

As the "new" business of international trade security continues to mature - taking its place alongside other previously established security disciplines such as operational security, transportation security and information security - supply-chain security is coming of age with its own growing vernacular, government initiatives and regulations, and an increasing array of specialized services. This growth has spawned a natural supporting infrastructure for a variety of published reference materials and education and awareness training, three examples of which I have found particularly noteworthy for today's trade-security professional.

For a comprehensive resource on trade security from a transportation perspective, I have found none better than "Transportation Logistics and the Law, Second Edition" by William J. Augello, Esq., an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law. Augello holds a prestigious 52-year career as a practicing attorney specializing in transportation and administrative law (www.transportationlawtexts.com).

Interestingly, the first edition was delivered to the printer on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Therefore, the purpose for writing the second edition was "to add to the text all the pertinent statutes and regulations enacted after Sept. 11, 2001, that had an impact on transportation and logistics."

At more than 800 pages, the book includes hundreds of court decisions handed down since the terrorist attacks, including the Department of Homeland Security's jurisdiction over transportation security, the government's reaction to the threat of new attacks, and terrorists' use of transportation vehicles to deliver those attacks. For those wishing to conserve a few trees, it has been recently released in CD-ROM format.

Whether your background is in cargo security or customs law, having this resource creates a logical expansion and awareness into the laws and regulations governing cargo movement.

Another excellent book, and my personal favorite as an all-around general desktop reference for trade and logistics, is the "Dictionary of International Trade, 6th Edition" by Edward G. Hinkelman, World Trade Press (www.worldtradepress.com). I was first acquainted with this book more than eight years ago, and it has become a constant companion. Whether on-site at a client engagement or in my office, it seems a week doesn't pass where I don't find myself flipping through its pages.

As a standard trade dictionary alone, the book contains more than 200 pages of today's most relevant trade terms and acronyms. Another 400 pages contains a wealth of useful information, such as chapters about or including detailed diagrams of shipping containers, Inco-terms, letters of credit and shipping documents, as well as in-depth listings of global currencies, dialing requirements, airports, seaports and trade-related resources and Web sites. There is even a chart of key trade words listed in eight languages and 19 full-color maps.

I am also pleased to say that I had the honor to be invited as a contributor to the 6th edition's dedicated chapter on trade-security with its special 80-page "Glossary of Security Terms." The glossary contains traditional security terms, as well as those that are either new to the post-Sept. 11 environment or that have a particular focus on terrorism.

Last but certainly not least, I wanted to bring attention to the area of trade-security education and awareness training, particularly within the innovative use of "distance-learning" tools. The continuing interest and growth in on-line instructional courses is due predominately to the appeal of its flexibility and cost over traditional classroom training.

I am impressed with a company appropriately named Supply Chain Security (www.supplychainsecurity.biz). It offers a number of proprietary "e-Learning" courses on the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, the Marine Transportation Security Act, and hazardous-materials and Food and Drug Administration compliance.

The distance-learning company offers flexibility so that anyone in need of training can begin at the right level, with the ability to add modules or programs as needed, thereby maximizing time and critical training dollars.

William G. "Jerry" Peck is president and founder of Global Trade Management Solutions. He can be contacted at (815) 462-1732, or at wgpeck@comcast.net.