Monday, January 3, 2011

Ban For US Air Freight Carrier During Security Enquiry

Efficiency of Cargo Screening Questioned
Shipping News Feature

US – With the screening of cargo on scheduled passenger services highlighted by the cases of bombs disguised as printer cartridges, every air freight carrier should be doubly alert to ensure all their security systems are in first class order. Now it appears that a division of OHL, the Tennessee based logistics group have been made to suspend operations after an initial inquiry by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

Activair, as the OHL subsidiary was formerly known, stand accused of failing to properly screen large numbers of consignments, despite being registered as a Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF). After initial enquiries in mid December OHL voluntarily removed Activair from the TSA’s CCSF register.

Close examination of all companies registered to screen cargo was inevitable given the widespread concern by members of the public and press expressed after they discovered that, despite personal checks on luggage, large quantities of commercial freight habitually travel on scheduled passenger flights. Screening of all airfreight emanating in America has been mandatory since August 2010 but there still exists concern that the scheme is somewhat self policing, although many believe that cargo being imported from foreign territories may pose a larger risk.

Air freight previously handled by Activair will be routed via another OHL group company, Barthco International, whilst ocean and overland freight activities remain unaffected whilst the enquiry continues. Activair was a UK based freight forwarder taken over in 2008 by OHL (Ozburn-Hessey Logistics), one of the largest 3PL supply chain companies in the world, who proceeded to rebrand the group.