Safeguarding supply chains is essential to both the EU's economy and security. The economic impact relates to exports and import flows of the order of 6 billion Euro processed daily by EU Customs. Losses related to security in supply chains have been estimated to €8.2 billion by the European Parliament. These figures are limited to cargo and truck theft and therefore do not include other typical supply chain security incidents such as counterfeit, piracy, smuggling/contraband, sabotage etc. Likewise, besides the monetary impacts, there are other indirect consequences for companies including the loss of brand image, investigation costs, increased insurance premiums etc. These losses may threaten the survival of businesses in the marketplace and ultimately damage the competitiveness and economic development of European countries.
The vulnerability of supply chains is not merely expected to damage the trading sectors, but in the long run may also impact the security and quality of life of our societies. If customs administrations fail to collect enough tax revenues there will be less money that governments may reinvest in the country. Likewise, if borders’ controls fail to detect weapons of mass destruction entering a country the consequences could be enormous and devastating. Vulnerabilities from natural disasters have also been visible in recent years. As a consequence, supply chain security is high on the agenda of governments and business boards alike.
Despite the consensus on the importance of supply chain security, misunderstandings and lack of common approaches impact progress. The public sector is actively working with producing newer and more sophisticated security certifications (e.g. Authorized Economic Operator) as well as supporting the development of scanning equipment to detect illegal shipments or tax frauds. On the other hand, the traders perceive these initiatives as bureaucratic resulting in excessive and costly paperwork, as well as delays at the borders because of the necessary cargo scanning and screening. To make things even more complicated, global traders have to deal with a plethora of different security certifications required in different continents. Paradoxically, even within the EU27 member states the same security certifications are being interpreted and implemented differently. Finally, traders already have in place their in-house developed security requirements, that unfortunately may conflict with governmental ones and therefore cause even more costs, and in the end, tardiness to comply.
CORE will start by consolidating solutions developed in Reference Projects (Cassandra, CONTAIN, SUPPORT, SAFEPOST, EUROSKY, e-Freight) in each supply chain sector (port, container, air, post).
Implementation-driven R&D will be then undertaken designed to discover gaps and practical problems and to develop capabilities and solutions that could deliver sizable and sustainable progress in supply chain security across all EU Member States and on a global scale. The implementation approach is aimed at providing:
CORE will respond to the need to maintain or improve supply chain security levels whilst also expanding transport and logistics networks to enable industry throughout the European Union to have effective access to the Single Market and the international market, and will assist in developing systems to facilitate a collaborative approach across the international community of the Global Supply Chain.
CORE will address in an integrated and stakeholder-friendly way three main areas:
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