Container Traffic Monitoring
Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen
Contraffic is a technology developed at JRC to screen data on global maritime container movements to detect potentially suspicious consignments. It gathers automatically container movements data from a number of on-line sources and features facilities to target suspicious containers based on analysis of their itineraries. It is designed to complement other risk analysis by customs that focuses instead on data items in customs declarations. Contraffic's services are available through via a web portal to authorized users from OLAF and MS customs authorities. It is also used on the occasion of joint customs exercises several times a year.
At the very simplest, Contraffic provides additional information (container histories) to customs intelligence for a subset of containers. Its coverage is approximately 15% of total world container traffic. In addition, following data cleaning and consolidation involving location names and events in the transport chain, it provides for several different analyses of container itineraries for a large number of carrier companies and routes. Models are used to detect suspicious container movements by analyzing route and event-time based parameters from the moment the container is picked up at the loading port to the moment the container is delivered at the destination port. The feasibility of supporting real-time controls is also being addressed, specifically, the delivery of route based risk indicators upon reception of pre-arrival/pre-departure advance information. Methodological advances in Contraffic will be submitted for publication to scientific journals.
A new challenge in 2009 is the acquisition of data from national customs authorities to complement other data from the carrier industry. This is aimed specifically at the development of an automatic notification (alert) system for containers under surveillance crossing the Eastern EU borders, in collaboration with OLAF and relevant MS Customs and border authorities.
In addition to fighting customs fraud, ConTraffic gives contributions to the analysis of covert nuclear trade (export controls) and, on-demand, will also provide expert support on the security of vital sea lanes in the framework of the Instrument for Stability Programme. Collaboration with the Defense Science and Technology Agency of Singapore is designed to enhance Contraffic's contribution to global supply chain security.
Compared to other activities in JRC related to the goods supply chain, Contraffic is looking neither into technologies to assure the integrity of containers, nor into scanning technologies used in detection. With respect to real-time tracking - to monitor the location of containers as they move through the supply chain, Contraffic is not interested in this technology per se, but can make effective use of this information if and when it becomes available.