Members of the Freight Transportation Security Consortium (FTSC) have agreed to work together to create common standards for security-related messaging and data encryption for the GPS (global positioning system) location devices that track tank trucks and tank railcars used to carry hazardous materials.
Drew Robertson, director of the FTSC and president of ASI-Transmatch, summarized objectives of the standards-setting effort. “The companies in the FTSC believe that monitoring the tractors, tank trailers, and tank railcars used to move chemicals and fuels with modern location and sensoring devices is the best way to markedly reduce the risk of hijacking, tampering, and theft by terrorists. However to be effective, the data from those devices should be collected and analyzed by a central monitor that can simultaneously track the 200,000 assets in the hazmat supply chain. If there is another terrorist attack, that monitor must be able to communicate rapidly and authoritatively with the police, fire, and other first-responders across the country. That's a round-the-clock job that is too big for any single shipper or carrier.”