Issue Position: Port Security
Port security is a critical component of America's homeland defense preparedness. Seaports provide a major entryway for passengers and cargo into the United States. However, because of a shortage in funding, efforts to secure the country's ports are falling far short, and creating a significant gap in the nation's security.
Of the seven million shipping containers that pass through the country's ports each year - including a substantial amount of fuel and cargo at the Port of Boston - only 2 to 5 percent are physically inspected by port workers, electronic screeners, or x-ray machines. Additional resources are necessary to enhance research and development in screening technology, and to upgrade the security presence and infrastructure at ports across the country.
The Port of Boston handles approximately 1.3 million tons of general cargo, 1.5 million tons of non-fuel bulk cargo, and 12.8 million tons of bulk fuel annually.
The Port of Boston receives approximately 250,000 cruise passengers each year.
Of the nearly seven million cargo containers entering U.S. ports each year, only 2 to 5 percent are physically inspected.
Secure ports are critical to the nation's economy. Each year, waterborne cargo contributes more than $750 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product, and generates approximately 13 million American jobs.