Ports are extremely important to Europe's economy, handling around 3.5 billion tonnes of freight each year. Security breaches can be very costly, potentially affecting the entire supply chain. However, ports' size and complexity make them difficult to secure. The EU-funded 'Security upgrade for ports' (SUPPORT) project planned to improve European port security. The consortium aimed to provide security upgrade solutions involving legal, organisational and technological factors. Such factors were intended to support security by improving efficiency plus uninterrupted flow of passengers and cargo, while also suppressing attacks, illegal immigration and drug trafficking. In addition, the group offered improved training for security operators. The 22-member group ran for 4 years to June 2014. SUPPORT built upon recent security developments, including implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. The improvements were accomplished by seeking input from representative stakeholders concerning potential preventative and remedial security actions. Additionally, the team analysed a variety of existing port security systems. This action yielded lists of good and bad practices seen among port managing organisations, port authorities and other stakeholders, and a set of lessons learned. The project also delivered validated models for port security management and training tools supporting port security upgrades. The deliverables are compatible with other European projects and initiatives, and consistent with security standards. The consortium conducted considerable dissemination work, including organising three conferences and preparing several information videos. SUPPORT suggested improvements to security practices in European ports. The resulting systems also offer a large potential worldwide market.
Port security, security breaches, security upgrade