Encyclopedia of Security and Emergency Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Lauren R. Shapiro, Marie-Helen Maras

Public-Private Partnerships: Port Security

  • Pierre-Luc PomerleauEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69891-5_292-1


Port security refers to security and law enforcement measures employed to safeguard port assets (vessels, harbors, facilities, cargos, employees, visitors) from natural and man-made threats, as well as from criminal activities.


The security of maritime transportation is essential for the international economic well-being and as such is one of the subsectors in the critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure refers to a vital system that performs a specific function in society, “whose cessation or destruction would have a significant impact” (Curt and Tacnet 2018, p. 2441). According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2017), 80% of global trade by volume and more than 70% by value is carried on ships and handled by seaports worldwide (p. 61). Mega ports across Asia, North America, and Europe provide the primary maritime system for most of the world. Maritime shipping, like other transportation systems, faces several challenges in...


Port security Port threats Public-private partnerships Information sharing Critical infrastructure Supply chain Security networks 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bowley, R. (2013). Countering terrorism in the maritime domain: A contemporary evaluation of the international legal framework. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Wollongong. Retrieved from http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/4262/
  2. Brewer, R. (2014). Policing the waterfront; networks, partnerships, and the governance of port security. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Policing-Waterfront-Partnerships-Governance-Criminology/dp/0199687366
  3. Bright, D., & Whelan, C. (2018). On the relationship between goals, membership and network design in multi-agency “fusion” centres. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management.  https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-05-2018-0070.
  4. Bull, K. (2016). Maritime companies warned of cyber attacks. Retrieved from https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/87391-maritime-companies-warned-of-cyber-attacks
  5. Busch, E. N., & Givens, D. A. (2014). The business of counterterrorism: Public–private partnerships in homeland security. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Business-Counterterrorism-Public-Private-Partnerships-Terrorism/dp/1433119544
  6. Catrantzos, N. (2012). Managing the insider threat: No dark corner. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Managing-Insider-Threat-Dark-Corners/dp/1439872929
  7. Cozine, K. (2019). Border security. In L. Shapiro & M. H. Maras (Eds.), Encyclopedia of security and emergency management. Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
  8. Cozine, K., Joyal, R. G., & Ors, H. (2014). From local to global: Comparing network approaches to addressing terrorism and transnational crime. Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, 9(2), 117.  https://doi.org/10.1080/18335330.2014.940817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Curt, C., & Tacnet, J. (2018). Resilience of critical infrastructures: Review and analysis of current approaches. Risk Analysis: An International Journal, 38(11), 2441–2458. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/risa.13166
  10. Den Held, D., & Asmann, P. (2019). Colombia cocaine boom likely behind rising European port seizures. Retrieved from https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/colombia-cocaine-boom-rising-seizures-europe-ports/
  11. Dupont, B. (2015). Security networks and counter-terrorism: A reflection on the limits of adversarial isomorphism. In M. Bouchard (Ed.), Social networks, terrorism, and counter-terrorism (pp. 155–174). New York: Routledge. Retrieved from http://tsas.ca/fr/tsas_library_entry/security-networks-and-counter-terrorism-a-reflection-on-the-limits-of-adversarial-isomorphism/CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fennelly, J. L., Beaudry, M., & Perry, A. M. (2017). Security in 2025. Retrieved from https://www.asisonline.org/ASIS-Store/Products/Pages/Security-in-2025.aspx
  13. Gerspacher, N., & Dupont, B. (2007). The nodal structure of international police cooperation: An exploration of transnational security networks. Global Governance, 13(3), 347–364. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/27800666?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  14. Government Accountability Office. (2007). Port risk management; additional federal guidance would aid ports in disaster planning and recovery. Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07412.pdf
  15. Government Accountability Office. (2016). Maritime security: Progress and challenges in implementing maritime cargo security programs. Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-790T
  16. Government Accountability Office. (2018). U.S. port of entry; CBP public–private partnership programs have benefits, but CBP could strengthen evaluation efforts. Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-268
  17. International Centre for the Prevention of Crime. (2018). Sixth international report on crime prevention and community safety: Preventing cybercrime. Retrieved from http://www.crime-prevention-intl.org/en/publications/report/report/article/6th-international-report-on-crime-prevention-and-community-safety-preventing-cybercrime.html
  18. Lowe, C. (2016). These are the Coast Guard’s special operations forces. Retrieved from http://www.wearethemighty.com/articles/these-are-the-coast-guards-special-operations-forces
  19. Maritime Executive. (2011). 10 Years after 9/11, security still a top priority of U.S. ports. Retrieved from https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/10-years-after-9-11-security-still-a-top-priority-of-u-s-ports
  20. Mat Salley, N. (2006). Post 9/11 maritime security measures: Global maritime security versus facilitation of global maritime trade. Master’s Dissertation. Retrieved from https://commons.wmu.se/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.ca/&httpsredir=1&article=1097&context=all_dissertations
  21. O’Brien, B. (2015). Three hazards of shipping by sea and how to avoid them. Retrieved from http://www.tradeready.ca/2015/trade-takeaways/three-hazards-shipping-by-sea-avoid/
  22. Odegaard, M. (2018). Port of San Juan: A case study in port security innovation. Retrieved from https://www.marinelink.com/news/port-san-juan-a-case-study-port-security-441624
  23. Purpura, P. P. (2008). Security and loss prevention: An introduction. Amsterdam: Elsevier.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Quigley, K., Bisset, B., & Mills, B. (2017). Too critical to fail: How Canada manages threats to critical infrastructure. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.ca/Too-Critical-Fail-Manages-Infrastructure/dp/0773551611/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1548361193&sr=1-1&keywords=too+critical+to+fail
  25. Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (2016). Canada–U.S. Shiprider. Retrieved from http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ibet-eipf/shiprider-eng.htm
  26. Saul, J. (2017). Global shipping feels fallout from Maersk cyber attack. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cyber-attack-maersk/global-shipping-feels-fallout-from-maersk-cyber-attack-idUSKBN19K2LE
  27. Shapiro, L. R., Maras, M.-H., Velotti, L., Pickman, S., Wei, H.-L., & Till, R. (2018). Trojan horse risks in the maritime transportation systems sector. Journal of Transportation Security, 11(3/4), 65. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12198-018-0191-3
  28. Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security. (2011). Securing the nation’s ports and maritime border – A review of the coast guard’s post-9/11 homeland security mission. Retrieved from https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-112hhrg72241/pdf/CHRG-112hhrg72241.pdf
  29. Transport Canada. (2016). Understanding cyber risks: Best practices for Canada’s maritime sector. Retrieved from http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2016/tc/T86-21-2016-eng.pdf
  30. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2005). Maritime transportation system; Security recommendations for the national strategy for maritime security. Retrieved from https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/HSPD_MTSSPlan_0.pdf
  31. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2008). Planning for climate change impacts at U.S. ports. Retrieved from https://archive.epa.gov/sectors/web/pdf/ports-planing-for-cci-white-paper.pdf
  32. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. (2017). Review of maritime transport 2017. Retrieved from https://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/rmt2017_en.pdf
  33. Willis, H. H. (2016). Ten years after the Safe Port Act, are America’s ports secure? Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/blog/2016/04/attractive-targets.html
  34. World Shipping Council. (2017). Containers lost at sea – 2017 update. Retrieved from http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/Containers_Lost_at_Sea_-_2017_Update_FINAL_July_10.pdf
  35. Yang, C. Y. (2010). Impact of the container security initiative on Taiwan’s shipping industry. Maritime Policy and Management, 37(7), 699–722. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03088839.2010.524737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Further Readings

  1. Bright, D., & Whelan, C. (2018). On the relationship between goals, membership and network design in multi-agency “fusion” centres. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management.  https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-05-2018-0070.
  2. Quigley, K., Bisset, B., & Mills, B. (2017). Too critical to fail: How Canada manages threats to critical infrastructure. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.ca/Too-Critical-Fail-Manages-Infrastructure/dp/0773551611/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1548361193&sr=1-1&keywords=too+critical+to+fail

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business Administration – Homeland Security and Leadership PolicyNorthcentral UniversitySan DiegoUSA