security business opportunities
How to position your company for new
As homeland security continues to be a top priority for US government, there are several areas that
still need to be looked at seriously. With the federal government already spending enormous sums of money on homeland security, it is not easy to get additional funds released for many security programs. At the
same time, the industry is equally reluctant to make the investments itself because it is not
value-creating, though the last thing that the importers,
exporters, and port authorities want is even one instance of
maritime injury. Our expectation is that eventually the federal government will fund these operations because it is simply beyond the capabilities of the 361 ports in the US to come up with an estimated $5-7 billions
needed to make our ports secure. Moreover, the ports are too important to the US economy to be ignored. More than 95 percent of U.S. overseas trade moves
through our seaports. In this article, we will share our findings related to new business opportunities in maritime security in the United States. This
should be of tremendous interest to our readers since over 95% of US exporters are small and mid-size businesses.
(Related article: Homeland
Security new projects)
When the president signed the Maritime Transportation Security Act
(MTSA) on November 25, 2002,
a legislation was enacted that established, for the first time, a mandatory security regime within the
maritime sector focused on reducing the vulnerabilities of the American
maritime transportation system. Since its enactment, the Coast Guard has been working to not only implement the provisions of the Act, but also coordinate with international trading
partners through the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in the development and implementation of a global strategy on maritime security.
The Coast Guard estimates that most of the funds will be used for purchasing equipment, hiring and training security officers, and preparing paperwork. Most
of these growth opportunities will be created in three key areas:
This will include variety of equipment, most of which will be fairly high-tech since that is the only way to secure our ports cost-effectively.
As a supplier of any security-related equipment, you should be carefully watching the developments in this area and must stay in touch with the ports that you
can serve. It may also be a good time to develop your
capabilities in serving ports, and of course, the government.
As we are seeing in other areas of homeland security, IT will play a significant
role here as well. Development of databases, sharing of information collected by a myriad of agencies, and coming up with meaningful information from this data is key to protecting the ports. As an IT firm, you might want to better understand the requirements of the security sector to offer
As the ports are not currently equipped to deal with special requirements of
security as mandated in MTSA, they are likely to outsource most of the work to other companies. These will include
providing security officers, maintenance of hardware and software, coordination with various entities, etc.
The key to success here will be constant communication with the
staff at the port that you want to target to better understand
their specific needs.
Related article: Homeland security new business opportunities
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