Shipping Losses Hit All-Time Low Despite Increasing Risks for the Whole Sector

Given as much as 90% of international trade is transported across oceans, maritime safety is critical. Thirty years ago, the global shipping fleet lost around 200 large vessels a year. This total fell to a record low of 26 in 2023, a decline of more than one third year-on-year and by 70% over the past decade. However, the fact that shipping is increasingly subject to growing volatility and uncertainties from war and geopolitical events, the consequences of climate change, as well as ongoing risks resulting from the trend for larger vessels means the sector will have its work cut out to maintain this status quo in future, according to marine insurer Allianz Commercial’s Safety and Shipping Review 2024.

“The speed and extent of the way the industry’s risk profile is changing is unprecedented in modern times. Conflicts such as in Gaza and Ukraine are reshaping global shipping, impacting crew and vessel safety, supply chains and infrastructure, and even the environment. Piracy is on the rise, with a worrying re-emergence off the Horn of Africa. The ongoing disruption caused by drought in the Panama Canal shows how the changing climate is affecting shipping , all at a time when it is having to undertake its most significant challenge, decarbonization,” says Captain Rahul Khanna, global head of marine risk consulting, Allianz Commercial.

Southeast Asia emerges as maritime region with highest total losses

During 2023, 26 total losses were reported globally compared with 41 a year earlier. There have been more than 700 total losses reported over the past decade (729). The South China, Indochina, Indonesia and the Philippines maritime region is the global loss hotspot, both over the past year and decade (184). It accounted for almost a third of vessels lost last year (8). The East Mediterranean and Black Sea ranks second (6) with activity up year-on-year. Cargo ships accounted for over 60% of vessels lost globally in 2023. Foundered (sunk) was the main cause of all total losses, accounting for 50%. Extreme weather was reported as being a factor in at least 8 vessel losses around the world in 2023, with the final total likely higher.

The number of shipping incidents reported globally declined slightly last year (2,951 compared to 3,036), with the British Isles seeing the highest number (695). Fires onboard vessels – a perennial concern – also declined. However, there have still been 55 total losses in the past five years, and over 200 fire incidents reported during 2023 alone (205) – the second highest total for a decade after 2022. Fires remain a key safety issue on larger vessels given the potential threat to life, scale of the damage, and the fact associated costs can be severe, a factor contributing to the long-term increase in the cost of large marine insurance claims.

Consequences of geopolitical conflicts

Recent incidents, such as in the wake of the conflict in Gaza, have demonstrated the increasing vulnerability of global shipping to proxy wars, disputes and geopolitical events, with more than 100 ships targeted in the Red Sea alone by Houthi militants in response to the conflict. Disruption to shipping in and around the region has persisted and is likely to remain for the foreseeable future. The re-emergence of Somali pirates, following their first successful hijacking since 2017, is an additional cause for concern.

“Both the war in Ukraine and the Red Sea attacks have also revealed the increasing threat to commercial shipping posed by new technology such as drones, which are relatively cheap and easy to make, and difficult to defend against without a large naval presence,” says Khanna. “Looking to the future, more technologically driven attacks against shipping and ports are also a distinct possibility. Reports of vessels experiencing GPS interference are increasing, particularly in the Strait of Hormuz, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.”

The report also notes that in the three years since Russia invaded Ukraine the gradual tightening of international sanctions on Russian oil and gas exports has contributed to the growth of a sizable ‘shadow fleet’ of tankers, somewhere between 600 to 1,400 vessels. “These are mostly older, often poorly maintained vessels that operate outside international regulation, often without proper insurance. This situation presents serious environmental and safety risks,” says Justus Heinrich, global product leader, marine hull, Allianz Commercial. Vessels have been involved in at least 50 incidents to date, including fires, engine failures, collisions, loss of steerage, and oil spills. “The cost of dealing with these incidents often falls on governments or other vessels’ insurers if one is involved in an incident.”

Rerouting brings risks and environmental challenges

Attacks against shipping in Middle East waters have also severely impacted Suez Canal transits – down by more than 40% at the beginning of 2024 – and trade. Coming so soon after the ongoing disruption caused by drought in the Panama Canal, this amounts to a double strike on shipping, causing yet more issues for global supply chains. Whichever alternative routes vessels take, they face lengthy diversions and increased costs, also impacting their customers. Avoiding the Suez Canal adds at least 3,000 nautical miles (over 5,500km) and 10 days sailing time, rerouting via the Cape of Good Hope.

Rerouting also impacts the risk landscape and the environment. Storms and rough seas can be more challenging for smaller vessels used to sailing coastal waters, while infrastructure to support an incident involving the largest vessels, such as a suitable port of refuge or a sophisticated salvage operation may not be available. Environmental gains may be lost as rerouted vessels increase speeds to cover longer distances. Red Sea diversions are already cited as being a primary contributor to a 14% surge in emissions in the EU shipping sector this year.

Green shipping challenges

Shipping contributes about 3% of global emissions caused by human activities and the industry is committed to tough targets to cut these. Reaching these targets will require a mix of strategies, including measures to improve energy efficiency, the adoption of alternative fuels, innovative ship design and methods of propulsion.

Decarbonization presents various challenges for an industry juggling new technologies alongside existing ways of working. For example, the industry will need to develop infrastructure to support vessels using alternative fuels, such as bunkering and maintenance, while at the same time phasing out fossil fuels. There are also potential safety issues with terminal operators and vessels’ crew handling alternative fuels that can be toxic or highly explosive.

“Increasing shipyard capacity will also be key as the demand for green ships accelerates. Such capacity is currently constrained with long waiting times and high building prices,” says Heinrich. Over 3,500 ships must be built or refitted annually until 2050, yet the number of shipyards more than halved between 2007 and 2022. “Capacity constraints on shipyards could have a knock-on effect for repairs and maintenance, with damaged vessels or those with machinery issues potentially facing long delays.” Machinery damage or failure is the most frequent cause of shipping incidents, accounting for over half of these globally in 2023 (1,587).

Worldwide Travel Advisory Issued by U.S. State Department

Just as the summer travel season begins in earnest, the U. S. State Department issue a worldwide travel alert for travelers, especially anyone identifying as LGBTQI+. The alert advises caution and alertness in tourist areas, due to potential threats of violence against them.

Here is the statement in its entirety:

Due to the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations, or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution.  The Department of State is aware of the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events and advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution. U.S. citizens should:

  • Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists, including Pride celebrations and venues frequented by LGBTQI+ persons.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive information and alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency overseas.

Barge Hits Texas Bridge

A barge rammed into the structure of a bridge near Galveston, Texas, on Wednesday, May 15. The crash caused oil to flow into waters in the busy shipping channel. The accident also closed the sole road to a neighboring island. No injuries were reported.

Pieces of the bridge connecting Galveston to Pelican Island, fell into the water as well as on top of the barge. The waterway was shut down so clean could take place. One man was knocked off the vessel and into the water. He was picked up and was not injured, according to Maj. Ray Nolen of the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.

Experts said the collision was note likely to cause much economic disruption since it occurred in a smaller, less important waterway. The incident happened on the opposite side of Galveston Island’s beaches.

Controlled Demolition of Francis Scott Key Bridge Completed

On 26 March, a ship slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge causing it to collapse and killing six construction workers. Monday, May 13 a demolition crew broke apart chunks of the collapsed bridge. The scheduled demolition was delayed by several days due to bad weather. The cargo ship Dali, which lost power and veered off course, rammed into the bridge and it collapsed.

The large container ship Dali has remained at the scene since the accident and is covered in scrap metal from the bridge. Twenty-one crew members are still on board the Dali, maintaining the vessel. Crew members stayed aboard the ship while Monday’s demolition explosion took place.

Authorities said the demolition went according to plan. The body of the sixth and last victim of the incident was recovered last week.

DHS, CISA Announce Membership Changes to the Cyber Safety Review Board

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced changes to the Cyber Safety Review Board (CSRB) membership. Four current members of the CSRB will depart and four new members will join the board. 

Departing members include:

  • Katie Moussouris, Founder and CEO, Luta Security
  • Chris Novak, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Verizon Threat Research Advisory Center
  • Tony Sager, Senior Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Center for Internet Security, and
  • Wendi Whitmore, Senior Vice President, Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks

Joining the CSRB:

  • Jamil Jaffer, Venture Partner Paladin Capital Group and Founder and Executive Director, National Security Institute, George Mason University Scalia Law School
  • David Luber, Director, Cybersecurity Directorate, NSA
  • Katie Nickels, Senior Director of Intelligence Operations, Red Canary
  • Chris Krebs, Chief Intelligence and Public Policy Officer, Sentinel One

David Luber will serve as the Federal CSRB representative from the NSA, replacing Rob Joyce upon his retirement. Joyce has been asked to continue to serve on the board as a private sector member.

“I can’t thank Katie, Chris, Tony, and Wendi enough for the outstanding contributions they’ve made as CSRB members. I am truly grateful for their service on the Board,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly.  “I am also very pleased to welcome Jamil, Dave, Katie, and Chris to the Board. I know their cybersecurity expertise and experience will be instrumental in the continuing evolution of the CSRB as a catalyst for positive change in the cybersecurity ecosystem.”

Robert Silvers, DHS Under Secretary for Policy, and Heather Adkins, Vice President for Security Engineering at Google, have been re-appointed as the Chair and Deputy Chair respectively for a second term by Easterly. 

“I send my sincere thanks to the departing members and welcome those who are beginning their service,” said Under Secretary Silvers. “The Cyber Safety Review Board will continue in its charge to conduct fact finding and develop lessons learned from the most serious cyber incidents.”

“It has been an honor to serve on the CSRB and I am looking forward to seeing the Board continue to evolve its important role in the cybersecurity ecosystem as we increase the security of the nation,” said Deputy Chair Adkins.  

Other returning members include:

  • Dmitri Alperovitch, Co-Founder and Chairman, Silverado Policy Accelerator and Co-Founder and former CTO of CrowdStrike, Inc.
  • Harry Coker, Jr., National Cyber Director, Office of the National Cyber Director
  • Jerry Davis, Founder, Gryphon X
  • Chris DeRusha, Federal Chief Information Security Officer, Office of Management and Budget
  • Eric Goldstein, Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
  • Marshall Miller, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice
  • John Sherman, Chief Information Officer, Department of Defense
  • Bryan Vorndran, Assistant Director, Cyber Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation

The CSRB conducts fact-finding and issues recommendations in the wake of major cyber incidents. The Board is made up of cybersecurity luminaries from the private sector and senior officials from DHS, CISA, the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the National Cyber Director, and the Office of Management and Budget.

As directed by President Biden through Executive Order 14028 Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, Secretary Mayorkas established the CSRB in February 2022. The Board is administered by CISA on behalf of the Secretary. The Board’s reviews are conducted independently, and its conclusions are independently reached. DHS and the CSRB are committed to transparency and will, whenever possible, release public versions of CSRB reports, consistent with applicable law and the need to protect sensitive information from disclosure.  

U.S. Maritime Administration Releases Strategic Plan

U.S. Maritime Administration Releases Strategic Plan

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. The administration says the plan reflects the goals and strategies necessary to foster, develop and promote the United States maritime industry and merchant marine. MARAD’s report says it recognizes that a strong U.S. maritime industry is critical to America’s national security strategy.

“Our nation’s maritime industry faces many challenges, not least of which include aging Ready Reserve Force ships and a mariner shortage which reduces our ability to adequately crew those ships during a national emergency,” the group said in a press release.

MARAD also said it “remains committed to exercising new and existing authorities to narrow these shortfalls. In response to today’s challenges and continuing the work already underway, this plan establishes the strategic priorities and framework necessary to meet MARAD’s mission and help shape the future of the maritime industry.”

Strengthening Cargo Security Across the Supply Chain

Strengthening Cargo Security Across the Supply Chain

Cargo security keeps goods safe. On freighters, docks, trucks, railcars, warehouses, and ports, cargo shipments are vulnerable to theft during several stages of the transit process. If a container isn’t properly and securely sealed, it can be opened many times during transit with its contents stolen and easily sold on the black market.

Stolen cargo can cost suppliers thousands to upwards of millions of dollars. An estimated $223 million in cargo was stolen during 2022, according to a new analysis by Verisk’s CargoNet. CargoNet recorded 1,778 supply chain risk events in the U.S. and Canada in 2022, a 15% increase from 2021. The average value of cargo stolen in an event was $214,104, CargoNet said.

The consequences of not sufficiently protecting cargo can be devastating, ranging from financial loss and damaged reputation to long-term, intricate legal disputes. And, today’s thieves are now highly tech-savvy and constantly developing modern ways and strategies to steal cargo from shippers. Because of this, more advanced container security measures have been developed helping to reduce burglaries and resulting theft claims.

High security bolt seals, like this one by J. J. Keller, help protect cargo against tampering and theft. J. J. Keller image.
High security bolt seals, like this one by J. J. Keller, help protect cargo against tampering and theft.
J. J. Keller image.

Best Practices

Josh Lovan, industry business advisor at J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc., Fort Smith, Arkansas, explains that ensuring cargo security during transit is crucial and cites the following best practices to make this happen:

Use High-Quality Seals: Invest in security seals made of durable materials like metal or heavy-duty plastic. Avoid using seals that can be easily tampered with or broken.

Proper Application: Apply seals correctly, ensuring they are securely fastened to prevent tampering or unauthorized access.

Unique Identification: Use seals with unique serial numbers or barcodes for easy tracking and identification. This helps in verifying the integrity of the cargo.

Regular Inspections: Conduct routine inspections of seals and locks throughout the transit process to detect any signs of tampering or damage.

Multiple Layers of Security: Utilize multiple layers of security, such as container locks in addition to seals, to provide added protection against theft or unauthorized access.

Security Protocols: Implement strict security protocols and procedures for handling, loading, and unloading cargo to minimize the risk of tampering or theft.

Monitoring and Tracking: Employ GPS tracking systems or other monitoring technologies to track the location and status of cargo in real-time, providing visibility throughout transit.

Training and Awareness: Train personnel involved in handling cargo on security protocols and the importance of maintaining the integrity of seals and locks.

truck seal

Seals, like the ones shown here made by J. J. Keller, are simple, cost effective ways to secure containers.J. J. Keller images.
Seals, like the ones shown here made by J. J. Keller, are simple, cost effective ways to secure containers.
J. J. Keller images.

Seals and Locks

Security seals and container locks are requisite to keep cargo secure in transit. Not all seals and locks are created equally. Each type of seal or lock offers different levels of security and suitability for specific applications.

Different industries employ a variety of security seals tailored to their specific needs and cargo requirements. For instance, the transportation industry relies on heavy-duty seals like bolt seals or cable seals to secure shipping containers and trailers, safeguarding valuable goods during transportation. Industries dealing with retail and consumer goods prioritize tamper-evident seals with unique identification features to maintain the integrity of products as they move from manufacturers to retailers.

“Pharmaceutical and healthcare companies often opt for advanced seals equipped with RFID technology, enabling real-time tracking and monitoring of sensitive pharmaceutical products to comply with stringent regulatory requirements and maintain product integrity,” Lovan says. “The food and beverage industry may utilize seals designed to withstand environmental factors and provide clear evidence of tampering, ensuring food safety and compliance with regulatory standards.”

The Equipment Lock Company produces this heavy duty cargo door lock built to secure semi-trailers and sea containers by locking the innermost vertical locking bars together. The Equipment Lock Company image.
The Equipment Lock Company produces this heavy duty cargo door lock built to secure semi-trailers and sea containers by locking the innermost vertical locking bars together. The Equipment Lock Company image.

It’s essential to assess your cargo security requirements and choose the appropriate seals and locks accordingly. Overall, Lovan believes the choice of security seals varies across industries based on factors such as cargo value, sensitivity, transportation mode, and regulatory compliance needs, with each industry selecting seals that best meet their unique security requirements. He cites the following types of security seals and container locks available for cargo security.

Bolt Seals: These are high-security seals that require bolt cutters to remove, making them difficult to tamper with.

Cable Seals: Made of steel cables, these seals are flexible and suitable for securing irregularly shaped items. They offer high tensile strength and are resistant to tampering.

Bar Seals: These seals feature a metal bar that is inserted into a locking mechanism, providing a secure closure for containers and trailers.

Plastic Seals: These seals are commonly used for securing shipping containers, trucks and trailers. They are lightweight, cost-effective, and offer tamper-evident features.

RFID Seals: These seals are equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, allowing for electronic tracking and monitoring of cargo in real-time.

Kingpin Locks: These locks are installed on the kingpin of a trailer, preventing unauthorized access to the container when it is attached to a truck.

Wheel Locks: These locks are placed on the wheels of trailers or containers to prevent them from being moved or accessed without authorization.

Below are criteria for determining the best seal for your application:

• Determine if an indicative or barrier seal is required.

• If using a barrier seal, determine what strength level is needed.

• Make sure that the seal type that you choose fits the device.

• Choose a seal that has the appropriate level of strength and security.

• Measure seal cost vs. security risks.

• Use a manageable locking system considering the tools and resources you have at your disposal.

• Consider the durability of the seal in relation to its environment.

• Below are criteria for handling and use of cargo seals:

• Know the locking procedure, design and features of this seal.

• Give seals only to authorized persons.

• Document all seals taken from storage.

• Apply seals securely according to instructions for this model. Note any problems or unusual visible damage like bent hasps, worn holes, unusual conditions or cosmetic damage to seals in applying.

• Destroy seals completely after use. Do not simply toss them out or leave parts or cut seals intact; or under conditions where they may be collected by others. Ideally it is good practice to return them to a central facility for destruction by an authorized and trained inspector.

PassTime’s GPS solutions utilize technologies to help connect, monitor and protect a wide range of mobile assets. PassTime image.
PassTime’s GPS solutions utilize technologies to help connect, monitor and protect a wide range of mobile assets. PassTime image.

Reliable Line of Defense

While these locks and seals are a reliable line of defense, criminals can compromise security seals and container locks through various methods such as brute force, and tools like bolt cutters to break seals or manipulate locks. They also employ tampering techniques, like duplicating seals or picking locks, to gain unauthorized access to cargo.

C-TPAT stands for Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. Founded shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, C-TPAT is a voluntary, collaborative effort between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) and commercial shippers to develop comprehensive cargo security programs for imports into the U.S. To further prevent theft, C-TPAT seals are security seals affixed to cargo containers by C-TPAT certified entities, signifying compliance with rigorous security standards. These seals serve as an indicator of a secure supply chain, facilitating expedited customs clearance and reducing the risk of cargo tampering or terrorism-related threats. C-TPAT seals may feature unique identification numbers or barcodes, allowing for easy tracking and verification of cargo integrity.

GPS Tracking

With numerous companies and transportation methods involved throughout the transportation chain, pinpointing when and where a cargo security issue occurred can be daunting. Implementing a GPS tracking solution on cargo shipments provides suppliers with the ability to track their cargo throughout the entire journey, adding invaluable insight and security.

“With so many transportation methods and entities involved, cargo can be lost or delayed along the way,” says Jeff Karg, director of marketing and communications, PassTime, Littleton, Colo. GPS tracking devices for cargo shipments give the supplier their own tracking solution and are not reliant on the varying and sometimes non-exist tracking solutions from their transportation providers.”

Solutions like PassTime’s battery-powered Encore, are completely self-powered, can last up to five years without recharging, and at the size of a deck of cards, can quickly and easily be placed on just about any cargo shipment.

“Utilizing battery-powered GPS tracking solutions on the cargo itself means suppliers know if their cargo is still in transit, or more importantly, if it isn’t,” Karg says. “Locks and seals are an important aspect of cargo security. However, if the cargo container itself is lost those safeguards may have limited impact. Adding an additional layer of security, like a GPS tracking solution, can provide unparalleled visibility, control and protection to locate and recover missing cargo.”

Container Stacks

Smart Containers

Smart containers are equipped with sensors that can detect intrusions like unauthorized door openings as well as anomalies such as a sudden change in container pressure or temperature (like when a hole is cut into the side wall of a container) that could indicate a breach.

Smart containers also have other integrated sensors such as GPS as well as additional internal sensors to measure the condition of the cargo inside. Data from the container’s sensors are either logged on a data module within the container, or it’s broadcast to a central monitoring platform via handheld readers, fixed scanners, or GSM/cellular connections.

Another, probably more viable option to (expensive) smart containers is the use of portable smart sensor kits that can be fixed to/within any standard container or truck trailer. These “smart kits” can turn any shipping container, truck trailer, or rail car into a “smart container,” giving logistics operations greater supply chain visibility for high-value cargo like pharmaceuticals, volatile chemicals, frozen food and other cold chain products.

The Human Element

Most theft crimes are not investigated because of manpower issues, so it is imperative that carriers take the necessary measures to prevent theft. Provide security training to all personnel, because everyone should be involved with protecting customer freight and company assets. Lovan says drivers can proactively deter theft by adopting the following prevention measures:

• Check the cargo seal and padlock during pre-trip and after being away from the unit.

• Never leave the tractor running when unattended.

• Always lock the doors and roll up windows when away from tractor.

• Always park in well-lit areas where other motorists are present.

Fleets can deter theft by implementing the following security polices during closed hours:

• Ensure trailers are docked, butted, and blocked at the terminal.

• Utilize kingpin locks for trailers that contain high value freight.

• Ensure that alarm systems are functional by conducting weekly tests.

• Utilize GPS technology to geofence equipment on the yard.

While no cargo being transported is completely immune to the risk of theft, the right technology will help to mitigate these problems to a great extent and help to ensure safe transportation of cargo. Anticipate and use security developments to your advantage, stay one step ahead and keep your cargo secure.

Building Resilience Against Critical Events

Building Resilience Against Critical Events

Critical events can affect any transport operator. Accidents, problems with infrastructure including vandalism, fires — such as those seen recently on electric buses in London — extreme weather events and cyberattacks have an immediate and often highly disruptive impact. While many incidents are resolved quickly, the knock-on effect on the reputation of the operator can be long-lasting, inconveniencing employees and passengers, and, in extreme cases, even threatening their lives.

It is therefore essential for transport organizations to build in resilience measures. This is, in part, the ability to anticipate the types of emergencies that might arise and adopt practices that minimize the impact of these crisis events on their operations. This type of approach ensures the safety of their employees and passengers and assists in resuming normal services quickly.

The success of operational resilience relies on several factors, the first of which is corporate culture. An organization’s resilience reflects the resiliency of its people, so public transport operators must invest in training programs, mentoring, and delivering resources that are inclusive for employees, and promote their well-being. Employees who are engaged and listened to will be better able to manage emergencies and equipped to confidently put practices in place to minimize disruption. Adopting an approach of employee collaboration through which teams and individuals are recognized for their successes and able to learn from their mistakes helps to cultivate collaboration and enables better teamwork in a crisis.

Continuously Assess Potential Risk

Proactive risk management coupled with agreed contingency plans that are regularly assessed and updated is essential. A list of the appropriate experts, technicians and helpers should be drawn up and these will be the first port of call when a critical event occurs. If companies fail to communicate in a timely manner during a crisis, they will lose control of the incident and the agreed response plan. Aligning actions to the right people ensures clarity of message, averts rumors, such as on social media, and keeps employees and passengers updated with accurate and timely information.

A comprehensive communications plan for use during a critical incident should be devised by transport operators. This outlines processes and those with responsibility for communication, who talks to whom and when, and what information they share. In addition to internal contacts, there may be external groups, such as passengers, partners of employees, or the public, that will require communications and updates. As public transport companies operate critical infrastructure, there may also be an obligation to report to the authorities.

Planning saves time and effort in an emergency. Messaging templates, for example, can be created in advance to help employees communicate efficiently and accurately. These will need to contain specific information to suit a variety of audiences and situations, but key messages must be consistent and not contradictory so everyone involved can be kept on the same page. Transport operators should plan for multimodal communication. The more channels they use, the more likely they are to reach all audiences. Ideally, messages should be sent through the most used channels today such as SMS texts, push messages, email, and voice messages and on both personal and work landlines and mobile phones. Practicing the procedures that have been agreed upon will allow transport operators to ensure they work efficiently without the pressure of a crisis. Any problems can be identified and addressed.

Building Resilience with Technology

Organizational resilience can be enhanced immeasurably by technology. Transport operators will benefit from an integrated critical event management (CEM) software solution that connects business continuity, disaster recovery, and risk management tools. This allows them to assess risk, seamlessly disseminate information across teams, and avoid disruptions that get in the way of responding quickly to a critical event. At the core of a CEM platform is a data hub that collates all the information relevant to an emergency and manages all the necessary processes.

Information that informs a CEM platform ranges from IoT device data monitoring traffic infrastructure and vehicles through to employee location data. It also includes police channels on social media, traffic information, or severe weather warnings. The platform brings this data together and visualizes it so transport companies can be quickly alerted to likely crises, assess the impact on their own systems, and initiate responses. From this, teams with responsibility for communicating critical events can coordinate activities, teams, and resources within a single application.

Emergency processes can be quickly implemented and controlled in a CEM solution in the form of rules, guidelines, and templates and it will automate those processes using a workflow system. This reduces the time that might be lost to manual activities. The CEM platform should support two-way communication allowing people to respond, which is helpful in terms of knowing who is safe, where people still need help, and whether the level of response needs to be escalated.

Transport operators face many risks but with intelligence, strategic planning and a robust crisis communication plan in place, they will be able to maintain operational resilience and protect both employees and passengers in the event of a crisis.

Tracy Reinhold is chief security officer at Everbridge. He is responsible for advancing Everbridge’s enterprise-level security strategy, as well as working closely with customers and partners to optimize their organizational approach to managing and responding to critical events.

These Four Trends Are Putting Digital Identities in the Spotlight

Digital identity solutions are not only the basis for secure and convenient travel, they are also the key to important services and greater control over personal data. Four key trends are currently crystallizing in identity technologies. 

Digital identification and identity solutions are an important part of global technological progress. In addition to simplifying and streamlining processes such as dealing with government agencies or traveling, proof of identity is directly linked to fundamental human rights. For these reasons, the development of technologies and solutions plays a crucial role. And there has been a lot of progress. Veridos, a global leader in identity solutions, outlines here the four most important trends and developments in the field of identity technologies:

Travel is becoming more digital and more secure. New technologies are paving the way for a new level of security in electronic passports. Self-check-in terminals and biometric data on microchips, for example, are helping to speed up the boarding process at airports. The next step in this development: the physical passport will no longer be the only way for travelers to verify their identity. With Digital Travel Credentials (DTC), the travel document of the future can also be displayed completely digitally and much more conventiently – on a mobile phone or smartwatch, for example.

The passport is becoming more sustainable. The travel and tourism industry is responsible for an estimated eight to eleven percent of global emissions. To meet the industry’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, research is increasingly focusing on recycled materials for documents that can ensure more sustainable supply chains. The days of passports with virgin plastic-based components may soon be numbered in favor of new, eco-friendly ID documents. The digitization of ID documents can help reduce the need for physical ID cards.

Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is becoming relevant. Self-sovereign identity puts individuals back in control of their data. This revolutionary concept allows individuals to choose what information to share, when, and with whom. Presenting an ID card to a car rental company, for example, reveals a great deal of sensitive information about an individual, whereas an SSI solution allows for the selective release of required information. With this zero-knowledge proof approach, citizens will be able to protect themselves very effectively against data mining and misuse of their information in the future. But SSI also has great advantages on the digital level – for example, the technology can be used as an identification process in the Internet of Things. Drivers could use it to confirm their identity at electric charging stations, for instance, without having to do anything themselves.

Identity is becoming increasingly digital. People without legal proof of identity are denied access to essential services and human rights, such as voting, education and banking. That is why the United Nations has set a goal of enabling everyone to register their identity by 2030. Universal solutions from leading providers are increasingly focused on digital and phygital technologies – a mix of digital and physical technologies. Not only are they more secure and convenient than purely physical ID cards, they also open doors to electronic services, are easier to manage and offer higher levels of security.

“The world is becoming increasingly digital. We see a growing expectation among users to be able to store important documents on mobile devices,” said Marc-Julian Siewert, CEO of Veridos. “There is certainly still a long way to go before government documents are fully digitized, but the groundwork has been laid and research is making great strides.”

Dexory Aims to Re-define North American Logistics and Warehousing Technology Market

er of cutting-edge AI and robotics solutions, has announced its expansion into the North American market. Dexory is set to disrupt the market through its autonomous robotics and AI-powered analysis solution, DexoryView. The company is already working with global partners with a significant U. S. presence such as DB Schenker, Menzies Aviation, Maersk and ID Logistics. To lead the expansion, Todd Boone has joined the team as its Head of North American business.

The driving force behind the expansion is the rapidly evolving landscape of logistics and warehousing. End customers continue to demand quicker turnaround times while warehouses address the urgent needs for improved space utilization and increased efficiencies while wrestling with ongoing labor scarcity. Dexory combines powerful analytics with autonomous robots capable of capturing rich image and sensor data from across a warehouse. This powerful combination provides comprehensive visibility across warehouses of any size, as well as connecting warehouses across the global supply chain through Dexory’s digital platform, DexoryView.

One customer that has recently deployed Dexory’s solutions in its warehouses is the international contract logistics group, ID Logistics. The collaboration aims to increase warehouse operation accuracy and enhance overall efficiency to improve the service provided to their customers.

Benoit Boiron, group Innovation manager at ID Logistics commented, “This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the evolution of inventory management and warehouse data acquisition. The precision and real-time monitoring capabilities have transformed our day-to-day operations, bringing accuracy to new heights.”

“Following successful customer deployments in Europe, we have seen an increased demand from the North American market,” said Andrei Danescu, CEO and co-founder of Dexory. “We are excited to be expanding our offering and see that there is tremendous opportunity in the region. Organizations across the globe are getting to grips with the challenging demands of modern supply chains, and DexoryView allows businesses to gain rapid insights into their operations and make informed decisions that drive better efficiencies across their businesses.”

Dexory says their technology helps businesses to understand, in real-time, what happens in their warehousing operations, which is imperative to closing the visibility gap that occurs when there is a misalignment between expectations and reality. The ever-increasing pace within warehouses is causing the visibility gap to grow, and so worldwide, companies are embracing Dexory’s solution to unlock real-time visibility and insights that minimize the visibility gap while maximizing warehouse performance and reducing costs.

As part of the expansion, Dexory has appointed Todd Boone to lead its North American business. Boone joins Dexory from Zebra Technologies, where he served as director of product management in robotics and automation. With Zebra Technologies he held several leadership roles and worked closely with Fetch, an established AMR provider in North America. Along with his experience in large organizations such as Motorola Solutions and Psion Teklogix, Boone has also acted as an independent advisor for technology companies, providing advice on go-to-market strategies.

“Having an industry veteran such as Todd Boone lead our expansion in the North American region is paramount to our success,” adds Danescu. “Boone has in-depth knowledge of the landscape and the challenges our customers are facing. In addition to this, he is a proven leader and has a track record of delivering value to customers as well as devising strategies that are disruptive and value-driven for our industry. We are pleased to have him on board to spearhead our growth in the region.”

“Many businesses across the globe are struggling with a visibility gap, where they do not have the necessary insight into their warehouse and supply chain operations,” comments Todd Boone, head of North America at Dexory. “The opportunity to lead Dexory’s expansion into the North American market comes at an exciting time for the industry. The technology is truly innovative and disruptive. The combination of robots and DexoryView has already delivered significant benefits to customers in Europe, and North American businesses can expect a transformative effect on the everyday efficiency, productivity and accuracy of their warehouses.”