At the launch of Unisys Global Visible Commerce, maritime security and terrorism expert Mr Alexey Muraviev, of Curtin University of Technology, warned that the effective management of terrorist incidents is a new challenge for Australian business. 

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“Since 80 per cent of the world’s cargo, and 76 per cent of Australia’s, moves by sea, the threat of terrorism will become a major pressure point, affecting the nation’s commerce and how business meets local and global regulatory standards,” said Muraviev.

The potential use of a shipping container to deliver a weapon into a port city is a threat well recognised by governments around the world.  The Australian Government has committed additional spending of $A3.1 billion to upgrade the security of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Australia’s ports and shipping in order to protect Australia’s $A108 billion export revenues.

“If terrorism is not countered and the risk it presents is not managed, Australia could lose $A12 billion dollars in GDP over the next five years,” said international trade expert Mr Alan Oxley, managing consultant, ITS Global Strategies and former Australian ambassador to GATT. 

“Terrorist attacks would disrupt trade. The immediate impact of closure of the Port of Melbourne, Australia’s major shipping port, for one month would be a trade loss of $A4 billion.  Flow on effects would easily push the full costs to over $A10 billion.”

Unisys today challenged industry leaders to think beyond just considering niche solutions such as radio frequency identification (RFID) or personnel ID cards, unveiling solutions that balance the roles of security and business effectiveness in supply chain management.

Unisys has launched a solution called Global Visible Commerce, designed to help companies reduce vulnerability and increase efficiency in their supply chains. This solution set reduces inventory out-of-stocks and total landed cost, improves customer service and assists companies in adapting more quickly to disruptions. 

By making the tracking and tracing of goods and assets more visible throughout the extended supply chain, Unisys is helping companies battle growing threats of counterfeiting, theft and contamination. It gives them the ability to comply more effectively with big-buyer and regulatory mandates. 

“Security and efficiency aren’t short-term issues that can be addressed by simply putting RFID tags onto the sides of shipping containers,” said Andrew Barkla, Vice President Unisys Asia Pacific. 

“Unisys Global Visible Commerce solutions are being tailored to meet the specific needs of government and companies in the life sciences, consumer product, retail and transportation industries. For more than 10 years, Unisys has been working with customers around the world to create cost-efficient and secure supply chains. 

“The real payoff for our clients is striking a balance between pro-active security measures and bottom-line benefits that allows them to maximize opportunities and their competitive advantage in the current global economy.”

Unisys has conducted more than 20 implementations and pilot projects to track, trace, and secure goods and assets for government and consumer product and airline organisations. 

In Australia, Unisys has worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the specification of the new Australian biometric passport, and in New Zealand with Foodstuffs in Wellington on electronic shelf labelling pilots.

Overseas, Unisys is working with customers such as Sara Lee, Motorola Inc. and the U.S. Department of Defence to help make their supply chains more secure and cost-effective. 

That experience includes running one of the world’s largest in-transit visibility networks – a “factory-to-foxhole” implementation across 1,300 nodes in more than 20 countries for the U.S. military. 

It also includes being selected to lead two Operation Safe Commerce pilot projects at three of the biggest ports in the United States. Operation Safe Commerce is the first large-scale public-private effort to improve the security of containerised shipments entering the U. S. from overseas.