The future of cargo screening

26 juin 2024

Controlling freight transportation corridors is crucial in the fight against terrorism, illicit trafficking, and the spread of dangerous substances. The Getxent Remote Air Sampling for Canine Olfaction (RASCO) solution is a vital tool in this effort. This article explains why Getxent's RASCO solution is the most effective method for screening cargo and trucks.

1. Increased threats and tougher laws

Terrorism and illicit trafficking are constant threats to global security. To face it, Governments worldwide are tightening their laws. For example, the USA require the screening of all U.S.-bound cargo containers at foreign ports before they are shipped to the United States (1) and require 100% of cargo transported on passenger aircraft to be screened at a level of security commensurate with the level of security for the screening of passenger checked baggage (2).

2. The challenges of cargo screeners

Cargo screening companies and regulatory authorities have to face several challenges:

  • Handling a large number of inspections without delaying the flow of goods
  • Ensuring the freight contains no illicit goods, even if well hidden
  • Availability of dogs and trained handlers
  • Integrating any solution into an already complex and regulated flow of goods
  • Environmental factors (temperature, humidity, noise) that reduce dogs' performance
  • Fatigue and limited working hours for dogs

3. Existing solutions with limited performance

Scanners are used to inspect cars, trucks, and cargo containers but are expensive to buy and maintain. They can't effectively detect explosives, drugs, or illicit wildlife products.

Traditional REST methods require bulky, costly tools and are ineffective at detecting illicit goods as they rely on particle collection. Well-packed or hidden illicit goods don't release particles for collection by these systems.

    4. Getxent RASCO, the only high-performance molecule-based REST solution

    • Versatility: can sample any container, with any cargo, anywhere
      • Suitable for all types and sizes of containers, including 40ft/67cbm or truck trailers
      • Freight doesn't need to be moved to a dedicated area
      • No power supply is needed
      • Containers don't need to be opened
      • No risk of clogging even when cargo contains powders or dust: the technology is not based on a filter
    • Speed: the fastest inspection solution on the market
      • Sampling takes only a few minutes
        • 5min for a large shipping container (40ft - 2.39cu ft/67cbm)
        • 8min for a standard dry van trailer (4000 cu ft/113cbm)
      • Analysis takes less than 30s/sample
      • A single dog can inspect over 40,000 tons of freight per day
    • Performance: the only solution that collects molecules
      • Getxent tubes in the Getxent RASCO:
        • absorb the full odor profile of the illicit goods ensuring reliable detection
        • collect molecules, not particles, making Getxent RASCO the only solution able to detect well packed and hidden illicit goods.
      • Short laying time: 200g of explosives are detectable with Getxent RASCO in a container less than 2h after being hidden
    • Focus on dogs’ and dog handlers’ best skills:
      • Dogs analyze samples in a controlled environment to ensure peak performance and high reproducibility
      • Sampling can be done by any agent, freeing up dog handlers
    • Portability and ease of use:
      • Device is lightweight (<2kg / 4.4lbs), fits in agent hand
      • Loading a Getxent tube and starting sampling takes only a few seconds
      • Each battery lasts about 30 minutes and can be quickly changed for longer sampling campaigns
    • Easy integration:
      • Short training for dogs:
        • Green dog: only 350h training
        • EDDs or narcotics’ detection dogs need an additional training to decrease their sensitivity threshold (duration depends on initial training of the dog)
      • No training required for sampling
      • The solution can be easily deployed in any field operation
    • Low cost:
      • A Getxent RASCO solution costs less than 1500USD
      • It requires ultra-low maintenance
      • Getxent RASCO device is cleaned with tap water and/or blank vacuuming
    • Straightforward analysis:
      • Samples can be stored at least 30 days before analysis, without losing odor quality
      • No special equipment is needed for analysis (e. g. heated line-up); any standard line-up will work

    In conclusion, Getxent RASCO outperforms traditional scanners and particle based REST systems with its unique ability to detect packed and hidden illicit goods while offering an unmatched portability, ease of use and low cost.

    As it overcomes all operational challenges, Getxent RASCO emerges as the only performing solution for cargo screening.

    (1) Congress in the United States - SAFE Port Act
    (2) TSA - Section 1602 of the “Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007” (9/11 Act)