Container Security: Combating the Rip-On/Rip-Off technique and the Blockchain Technology
Due to the complex nature of international supply chains, there are numerous parties involved in the trade process. Each party has a unique role and a different set of responsibilities and liabilities, making for an intricate operational framework. This complexity and intricacy allow nefarious Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) to infiltrate the supply chain, elude security and ‘piggyback’ off legitimate trade routes. Container screening involves just 0.0005% of the overall containers arriving in seaports. Considering this low screening rate, one of the most commonly utilised modus operandi by the OCGs to benefit from legitimate trade and smuggle contraband is the ‘Rip-On/Rip-Off’ technique.
In the recent decade, we have observed a sharp increase in the volume of international maritime trade. Many experts argue that traditional paper-based systems are inefficient and vulnerable to exploitation by the OCGs.
This report aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the ‘Rip-On/Rip-Off’ technique and how stakeholders could address the associated challenges. The report also highlights emerging technologies such as blockchain and its use within the traditional international maritime trade framework. Finally, the report addresses the importance of container seals in the trade process while highlighting the need for a more automatised operational framework.
Keywords: Container Security; Maritime Trade; Corruption; Seaports; Rip-on Rip-Off; Organized Crimes Groups; Blockchain Technology; Maritime Shipping; Container Seals; Supply Chain; and Seaport Security.