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Each year, 7,500 commercial vessels make 51,000 calls at 361 US ports (Makrinos, 2004). In 2002 approximately 7 million containers arrived at US ports, carrying more than 95% of the nation’s non-North American trade by weight and 75% by value (Government Accountability Office, 2003). While US ports are engines for growing the US economy, their cargoes are also vulnerable targets for terrorists (Cooperman, 2004). A single US import transaction typically involves 30 different documents and at least 25 parties, e.g., shipowners, truckers, freight forwarders and third-party logistics providers.
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