This complex HAZMAT Safety and Security Technology Field Operational Test was
conducted in the pursuit of improving Homeland Security vis-à-vis protection
of truck-based hazardous materials shipments. With over 800,000 HAZMAT shipments
per day with the staggering potential consequences in terms of deaths, injuries,
property damage, and business disruption of even one shipment used by terrorists
for an attack the immediacy of implementing countermeasures rapidly is obvious.
With resources in limited supply and many counter-terrorism fronts to contend
with, meeting the “clear and present danger” to HAZMAT trucking
requires implementing solutions that are currently available, reduce risk, and
that provide tangible and quickly realized benefits to stakeholders proportional
to their level of investment.
This evaluation examined the technical and financial performance of several
promising technologies for increasing the security of HAZMAT shipments to determine
what levels of operational efficiency and security benefits can be attained
through deployment of the technologies. The evaluation also examined the levels
of investment required to equip fleets with the technologies. Based on the evaluation
of the test technologies, the following conclusions are presented in Sections
11.1 through 11.6 of this synthesis document.
11.1 TECHNICAL EFFICACY
Technology performance overall for the technologies was good, with most technologies
performing well under operational conditions with the exception of Biometric
Login, and to a lesser Electronic Seals and ESCM. These latter two technologies
were deemed as requiring additional technical development for the HAZMAT trucking
The core enabling technology for the test suites, Wireless Communications with
GPS tracking capabilities, has been deployed commercially for several years
and performed per expectations during the FOT. The technology also demonstrated
its ability to integrate additional security functions with the established
communications network providing a reliable data transfer mechanism.
The Panic Button, vehicle disabling, trailer tracking, and Geofencing applications
of the core enabling technologies also performed per specification.
As described in this synthesis document, the Biometric identification units
supporting Biometric driver logins and access to the ESCM need to be more “forgiving”
for climatic conditions and physical application of drivers’ fingers to
the Readers. The E-seal system, even after undergoing modification during the
FOT, showed cycle times considered too long by the participants. Additionally,
a more user-friendly software interface is recommended. The ESCM, as demonstrated
in a previous test of application and during this FOT, requires the development
of interfaces with other systems used by motor carriers. The integration of
ESCM with carrier systems would increase usage of the system.
The core enabling technology is the only technology tested that demonstrated
tangible operational efficiency gains within the limits of this FOT. Productivity
gains in terms of increased personnel and asset utilization are found to outweigh
the costs of deploying the technology with relatively attractive payback on
investment periods. With the proven reliability of the technology in the market
place and appropriateness of application to a wide range of fleets significant
industry benefits could be realized through full deployment-with net benefits
over costs of up to $1 billion per year. Even with attractive ROI and low payback
periods, capital constraints, institutional inertia (comfort with doing business
in fixed ways), and myriad low- cost communications options are likely to make
penetration of this market a long-term enterprise, especially in the smaller
The technology suites tested during the FOT, given further development (as
described for the “emerging” technologies – those not commercially
available for the HAZMAT trucking market) show promise for significantly reducing
vulnerabilities and hence, reducing potential impacts of terrorist attacks.
It should be recognized that technology alone, at best, could only address approximately
one-third of the potential HAZMAT-based consequences.
The core enabling technology also provides significant security benefits.
The implication is that the core enabling technology has the capability of more
than covering its costs to motor carriers while providing a significant security
benefit to society. Given this, policy makers should consider how best to further
reduce costs through several possible mechanisms and promulgate information
to motor carriers.
The remaining technologies do show considerable potential security benefits
(societal benefits), but not necessarily realized by the motor carriers, such
as both the E-seal and OBC with door lock are potential security improvements
in the attempt to bolster en transit cargo protection. Both technologies in
theory enable remote detection of an intrusion of the trailer by an unauthorized
party at any point from pick up to delivery of cargo and to some extent make
it more difficult for entry into the trailer.
Therefore, decision makers need to weigh the potential investment versus additional
security benefits for the technologies and if deemed desirable, then work with
the HAZMAT industry (shippers, carriers and consignees) to move towards deployment
in an equitable fashion.
The benefits of the technologies as deployed, focus on enhanced driver monitoring
capabilities, reduced exposure to crashes, and enhanced HAZMAT incident response.
Within this framework, participant opinion indicates that the technical capabilities
of the test technologies, coupled with best practices in motor carrier driver/safety
management and public sector incident response, show promise for enhancing the
safety of truck-based HAZMAT shipments. The technologies demonstrated enhanced
ability to monitor drivers and vehicles and provide notification of emergencies
with location and load characteristics in a more timely manner and potentially
detailed manner than traditional methods (thus, potentially enhancing emergency
Through enhanced fleet management enabled by the core technology of Wireless
Communications with GPS positioning, fewer non-revenue miles can be realized.
Assuming these miles translate directly to fewer overall miles driven, potential
benefits in terms of crash avoidance due to reduced exposure were conservatively
estimated to be $5 million annually.
11.5 DEPLOYMENT POTENTIAL
As described in the previous sections, the core enabling technology for the
test suites has the capability to enhance motor carriers’ operational
efficiencies and generate benefits in excess of deployment costs. Recognition
on the part of the technology vendor community of the variability in the needs
of HAZMAT trucking operations and responding by providing the basic core functions
adapted to specific types of operations and at a range of pricing/financing
options should drive motor carrier adoption of the technology and make it a
prevalent fleet management technology in the future. This market-based move
towards increased market penetration may be at a less robust pace than the increasing
need of securing truck-based HAZMAT shipments. In this case, governmental intervention
(discussed as policy options in Section 10.2 of this synthesis document) may
For the technologies that build upon the core technology, market forces are
unlikely to support strong adoption of the technologies, at least in the foreseeable
future. A possible exception may be imposition of requirements for technology
imposed by shippers/consignees that would create a “derived demand”
on the part of HAZMAT trucking operations to adopt the technologies.
11.6 PUBLIC SECTOR Psrc CONCEPT
As a “proof-of-concept” system, the Psrc provides a model for enhanced
information exchange between public and private sector HAZMAT stakeholders by
providing law enforcement and emergency response personnel access to accurate,
timely, and action-oriented information. As a solution, the Psrc system holds
the potential to enable law enforcement and emergency response personnel to
respond to intentional and unintentional incidents associated with the transportation
of hazardous materials.
For future Psrc or similar system concept testing the following elements should
be considered as enhancements to the current Psrc concept:
- A robust, standardized central data repository for data storage and retrieval
must be created with built in redundancy for information collection, fusion
- An effective interface must be developed to filter data to ensure that sensitive
or corrupt data remains outside of any data delivery through the Psrc. As
the recipient of keyinformation, the Psrc must forward only critical information
to public sector users in a prioritized and easy to manage format, which can
be easily integrated with their current systems.
- The Psrc serves as the link between data sources collecting the initial
data on one end and delivering the alert notification data on the other. On
the data collection side, mostly private carrier data is the primary source
data for the Psrc at this point. In the future, it may be desirable to include
information from sources (criminal databases, state commercial vehicle systems,
terrorism watch lists, etc.) that might provide in-depth information relevant
to criminal or security activity.
11.7 POLICY OPTIONS
As described in Section 10 of this synthesis document, significant issues
exist that need to be addressed to move towards deployment of the promising
security technologies. Governmental strategies that can be employed to encourage
- Support of research and development for adoption of commercially available
and emerging technologies that show promise for enhancing security through
continued field testing. This support can involve extending the testing conducted
in this FOT over time and across a larger number of motor carriers.
- Creation of financial incentives to encourage research and development and
purchase of technologies such as grants or facilitating cooperative purchasing
- Legislative and procedural action to address data privacy issues.
- Promote technology acceptance through focused outreach and public relations
- Craft regulation/rulemaking requiring the adoption of solutions to address
HAZMAT trucking vulnerabilities. These should be performance-based requirements
that provide motor carriers flexibility in how they meet the requirements.
- ATA Foundation, Motor Carrier Technologies - Fleet Operational Impacts
andImplications for Intelligent Transportation Systems/Commercial Vehicle
Operations, October 1999.
- ATA Foundation, NAFTA Priority Corridor Comprehensive ITS/CVO Plan Motor
Carrier Technology Survey, August 2000; American Transportation Research Institute
- GartnerG2, Trucking Technology Survey, 2003.
- ATRI - GartnerG2 Trucking Technology Survey, December 2002.
- ATRI - GartnerG2 survey of 150 motor carriers on adoption of in-vehicle
technologies, Trucking Technology Survey - 2003; ATRI industry survey of 348
motor carriers to determine levels of technology adoption in 2000 and projections
to 2003, in support of the North American International Trade Corridor (NAITC)
Comprehensive and Coordinated Intelligent Transportation Systems for Commercial
Vehicle Operations (ITS/CVO) Plan, 2003.
- ATRI, Trucking Technology Survey, conducted as part of the FOT, Hazardous
Materials Security and Technology Survey Results Summary, January 2004.
- Battelle, in association with QUALCOMM, ATRI, CVSA, and the Spill Center,
HAZMAT Safety and Security Field Operational Test Draft Final Report, June
- Battelle, HAZMAT Safety and Security Field Operational Test: Task 2: Concept
of Operations, prepared for FMCSA, April 18, 2003.
- Battelle, HAZMAT Safety and Security Field Operational Test: Task 4 System
Requirements and Design. May 1, 2003.
- Battelle, Framework for Assessing Safety & Security Incident Consequences
for Highway Shipments of Hazardous Materials, Final Report prepared for the
USDOT and FMCSA, December 2003.
- Battelle, HAZMAT Field Operational Test Task One: Conduct A Risk/Threat
Assessment, Draft Report prepared for the U.S. Department of Transportation
(USDOT), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), October 2002.
- Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 86 / Monday, May 5, 2003 / Rules
and Regulations, p. 23867
- Figure derived from the USDOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Motor
Carrier Finance and Operating Statistics.
- FMCSA Analysis Division, Large Truck Crash Facts - 2002, 2001, 2000.
- Kansas Department of Transportation, Incident Management Program Background,
- Nicholas J. Garber and Lester A. Hoel, Traffic and Highway Engineering,
PWS Publishing, New York, New York, 1999, page 153.
- People's Daily Online, October 5, 2001.
- SAIC, Hazardous Material Transportation Safety and Security Field Operational
Test Final Detailed Test Plans, prepared for FMCSA, September 2003.
- Triantaphylou, Evangelos and Lin, Chi-Tun, "Development and Evaluation
of Five Multi-Attribute Decision Making Methods", International Journal of
Approximate Reasoning, 1996, Volume 14, pp. 281-310.
- The Volpe Center, Surface Transportation Vulnerability Assessment, October
- USDOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Motor Carrier Finance & Operating
Statistics, 2002, accessed from http://transtats.bts.gov/
- U.S. Government Accounting Office, GAO-02-700R, Impact of Terrorist
Attacks on the World Trade Center, May 29, 2002.
- U.S. Office of Management and Budget-Circular No. A-94 - Appendix C - Discount
Rates for Cost Effectiveness, revised February 2004.
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