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Shipping Resilience: Strategic Planning for Coastal Community Resilience to Marine Transportation Risk

A catastrophic earthquake could disrupt marine transportation across coastal British Columbia, severely affecting supply chains to coastal communities and emergency response capabilities. This project seeks to better understand such risks and develop effective resilience strategies for different types of coastal communities. It inquires into how disaster events would likely affect ports, marine transportation routes, and the associated movement of people and resources in the emergency response phase, and what strategies would be effective to alleviate potential consequences.

Co-principal investigators on this project are David Bristow at the University of Victoria (infrastructure systems modeling), Ron Pelot and Floris Goerlandt at Dalhousie University (shipping risk), C. Lin and L. Zhou at the University of Victoria (port geotech and structural modeling), and Anne Goodchild at the University of Washington (shipping logistics).

This project aims to improve understanding of how coastal marine transportation systems would be disrupted in natural hazard events, how such disruption would impact coastal communities, and what strategies could effectively address this risk. Focusing on the movement of people and goods in the emergency response phase of a disaster, the study develops new tools, information, and risk assessments to support preparedness planning by local and provincial governments and the transportation sector. The research delivers: (1) workshops for engaging government and transport sector stakeholders; (2) a framework for assessing coastal community resilience to shipping disruption; (3) a simulation tool based on this framework; and (4) specific findings and recommendations for two case studies – a detailed analysis of catastrophic earthquake risk in British Columbia and exploratory analysis of hurricane risk in Atlantic Canada.


Lessons from Tests of Electronic Container Door Seals

Publication: Transportation Research Board 88th Annual Meeting
Publication Date: 2009
A series of field operational tests completed by Washington State over a 10-year period has shown that electronic container door seals (E-seals) can increase the efficiency and improve the security of containerized cargo movement. Universal use of E-seals, along with the associated infrastructure, could provide notable improvements in security, container tracking, and transaction cost reductions. Testing in ports, border facilities, and on roadways proved that E-Seal technology works: E-Seals can accurately and automatically report on container status at choke points, and the records can be accessed online to verify seal location, status (tampered or untampered), date, and time. However, a number of institutional barriers are likely to delay or even forestall the adoption of E-seals. A lack of standards is a major issue, since the E-seals available today use many different frequencies, hindering their applicability to international trade flows. A further barrier is the acceptability and cost of E-seals to the container industry. Routine use of seals would require new software linkages and container sealing procedures, which could slow acceptance. Disposable seals, which eliminate the need to recycle E-seals, are not common because they need to be produced in large quantities to be low cost. E-seals acceptable to the industry also need to be proved in a real world trade environment and need to be functionally simple to reduce routine operational problems. Compatibility with existing highway transponders systems might also promote E-seal acceptance, since containers could be tracked on the roadway system.



Authors: Dr. Ed McCormack, Mark Jensen, Al Hovde
Recommended Citation:
McCormack, E., Jensen, M., & Hovde, A. (2009). Lessons from Tests of Electronic Container Door Seals (No. 09-0821).