Security assurance across maritime trading systems is a critical factor for international business managers and in the evolution of international trade generally. A number of initiatives are currently underway focusing on security issues in ports and ships (International Ship & Port Security Code), customs inspections in international ports (Container Security Initiative) and whole-of-supply chain outcomes (Customs & Trade Partnership against Terrorism). The main purpose of the above initiatives is to reduce the likelihood of maritime-vectored terrorism; however inappropriate implementation of these programs could affect competitiveness. \ud \ud This paper suggests that the complexity of interaction between ports, maritime operations and supply chains create vulnerabilities that require analysis that extends beyond the structured requirements of these initiatives and creates significant management challenges. Also the paper highlights the need for enhanced crisis management capabilities within ports as part of a standard management repertoire and suggests a new classification scheme for mapping vulnerability within ports and across supply networks. The paper concludes that there is a need to examine the goodness-of-fit of these security initiatives against business efficiency and competitiveness, and to consider the training needs for crisis management capabilities that will allow private and public sector groups involved in global trade to effectively mitigate the threat of maritime terrorism and loss of competitiveness
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