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Issue Position: Port Security

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

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.

Key Facts

• 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.

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