The CONTAIN Advisory Board met in London on 9 October

Contain London Meeting (10)

The CONTAIN Advisory Board met on 9 October in London in order to receive an update on the progress of the CONTAIN project, as well as to provide additional input and feedback to the CONTAIN consortium. More than 50 participants were in attendance with representatives from Customs, port authorities, border agencies, freight forwarders, shippers and logistics providers, and the European Commission, among others, including key members of the CONTAIN project consortium.

The agenda included a full update of the current status of the CONTAIN Project, with progress reporting, detailed descriptions of the technologies planned for the demonstration phases, and explanations of the demonstrations planning and preparations already undertaken.

The structure of the Advisory Board Meeting was designed to allow the maximum time for questions, input and feedback from the participants, with even additional opportunities for networking and side discussions to continue during the breaks. Furthermore the following elements of the CONTAIN project were highlighted during the discussions: Emerging Issues, Solutions, Technologies, and the Actual Demonstrators.

The feedback in general was quite positive, while some critical challenges do remain. Some of the points discussed among the participants, included (but were not limited to):

–       Customs and border agencies need timely, accurate and full information as early as possible in order to assess risk correctly and react accordingly

–       Collaborative response aspects are key to demonstrating the next generation approach to supply chain security

–       Data quality is always an issue – more sources of data help to fill some blanks in this respect, but perhaps a regulatory step may be required at some point

–       The decision support solution that is part of CONTAIN will augment the risk assessment decision capability of existing systems (such as in Customs)

–       There has to be more collaboration between Customs and business in order to ensure that this new approach can be successful

–       One of the big issues from the commercial side is not always speeding up the process, but having better predictability with respect to the different steps involved

–       There is significant value in integrating the CONTRAFFIC system into the CONTAIN project (although the CONTRAFFIC analysis is not real time)

–       There was also a request to get more trader and freight forwarder input to the project and as such a meeting was subsequently held with CLECAT (the European Association of Freight Forwarders) in order to get their opinion concerning the CONTAIN project
Although there were many other topics discussed during the CONTAIN Advisory Board Meeting, the key issues are noted above.

The CONTAIN consortium would be pleased to welcome additional stakeholders to the CONTAIN Advisory Board. Please send your request to join the CONTAIN AB to Mark Miller at:

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Contain consortium is preparing demonstrations: Evaluation – Cost Benefit Analysis – Recommendations (Task 5.4)

T5.4 will provide consolidated evaluation of the whole demonstrator programme for phase 1 and phase 2 CONTAIN solutions, including also Cost Benefit Analysis.

  • ST5.4.1 “Consolidation of evaluation information from each demonstrator and test bed”
  • ST5.4.2 “Conclusions across all demonstrators”
  • ST5.4.3 “Impact evaluation”

There is no ongoing activity in T5.4, pending the outcome of the demonstrators. The only activity related to T5.4 so far is the preparatory methodology work in T5.1.

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Contain consortium is preparing demonstrations: Valencia demonstrator (Task 5.3)

In the framework of the CONTAIN Project, the Port of Valencia aims to effectively improve the existing security management gaps concerning the port-logistic containers track and trace and the inspection and control of exit empties at the main gates of the port. The challenge is focused on introducing selectivity criteria to improve the knowledge about container traceability and providing decision-making tools which allow a better control and monitoring of containers circulating inside the port.

In this manner, the port is currently working into two lines. The first one consists of the improvement of container track and trace capabilities taking advantage of the existing information technologies integrated at the port, that is, the Port Community System of Valenciaport.

The second line of work is based on the development of a new prototype which would improve the effectiveness of the control procedures applied to empty containers going out the port. In order to identify the appropriate solution for the existing scenario, a first definition of end-user requirements was defined during the first months of 2013. According to these requirements, a methodology for the selection of the most suitable technology was applied (COAT Methodology), resulting the most suitable solution in a volumetric laser scanning technology.

This sensor technology is able to reduce the total inspection time since it introduces some degree of automation over the current manual procedure. Moreover, the laser scanning device is able to detect anomalies inside a declared empty container such as incorrect dimensions of the container, objects inside, false bottoms, etc. It is expected to provide a preliminary demonstration of this solution by the end of 2013.


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Contain consortium is preparing demonstrations: HINTERMED demonstrator (Task 5.2)

T5.2 is concerned with organising and implementing a full demonstration of CONTAIN outputs in the HINTERMED Demonstrator, which has two legs:

  • Genoa Port hub, that involves the use electronic seal;
  • EAST WEST MED: La Spezia port – Bologna freight village – Ravenna port Corridor, it is coordinated by IPBO and involves shipping and hinterland services.

The Genoa demo will monitor the container traffic between Voltri Terminal (VTE) and Rivalta Terminal (RTE), where containers are moved between the two Terminals using train shuttles or trucks.

The components that will be used in the demo are:

  • A subsystem to detect the Train composition, i.e. to read the list of all containers on a train along with the order in which they are stored, while a train is in transit at a given point. This subsystem is made by some devices (OCR cameras) able to read the images of the container numbers and translate them into text information, in order to be processed by an information system. For each container, the following information can be detected: container number, container type, container ISO code, length.


  • An equipment to read the electronic seal, specifically implemented for Contain project. The equipment (a certain number of which will be available) is a portable multifunction device based on Windows CE 5.0 that can mount several integrated additional components (such as a smart card reader, a micro-camera with white LED and IR illuminator, etc), and a rechargeable battery. In the context of Genoa demo, it will be equipped with an additional plug-in module (and related software) to read RFID Electronic seal.


  • A Local Station to receive data from the equipments, to merge them, and to monitor their status. These Local Stations will be an off-the-shelf PC with some specific and new software applications to process data arriving from the field and to send them to the CONTAIN Platform.
  • A Container Traffic Control Center to handle the whole demo installed at SE premises in Genova, able to connect with the Local Stations thru the CONTAIN Platform (via Internet).

The information obtained will be sent from the Local Station to the Contain Platform with the following information:

Information Type
Incoming container(s) T & T
Outgoing container(s) T & T
Broken/damaged seal Alarm

The EAST WEST MED Corridor runs from the Port of La Spezia to Bologna Interporto Hub and it is extended to Ravenna port. Bologna Interporto is a central hub acting as the backyard of the ports of Ravenna, La Spezia and Leghorn and as an inland terminal and gateway‐system for intermodal services leading to southern ports of Taranto, Bari, and Naples.

The EAST WEST MED Demonstrator will provide end-to-end security container management by supporting transport security stakeholders (both business and administrations) with managing container security threats within logistic chains by utilising ‘best of breed’ technology options as part of an integrated approach to the management of Door to Door (D2D) transportation networks.

The EAST WEST MED demonstrator provides the transport corridor and chain element to the HINTERMED Demonstrator and consequently the CONTAIN project. Activities related to EAST WEST MED Demonstrator started in advance than the planned with the AS-IS Analysis: it involved the provision of Business Process Maps, Threat and Loss Analysis for security existing gaps, identification of transport chain black spots and provided the basis to develop the CONTAIN Threat Analysis (Task 1.2) and the ECSF (Task 1.5).

Furthermore, it provided task 5.1 the AS-IS analysis from which the business process model (IDEF0 + BPM) was developed and identified the potential risk management issues and the potential black spots (through the Bow-Tie analysis and cross fertilization with Task 1.2).


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Contain consortium is preparing demonstrations: demo plans and methodology (task 5.1)

The task provides detailed demonstration plans, evaluation criteria and a common assessment methodology for the project. A first version of the demo plan was released six months after the project started. This version has been thoroughly reworked and the finalized version is due in August 2013. In fact, results from Sub Task 5.1.1 are already transferred to Task 5.2 and T5.3 as those tasks start the work to realise the demonstrations. Results from ST5.1.2 will provide starting point for T5.4. The two subtasks of 5.1 are described below in more detail:

  • ST5.1.1 is directed into providing demonstration plans for both the phase 1 and the phase 2 demonstrations. The demonstrations have been divided into three different realisations. In Valencia the focus is on verifying that containers declared to be empty really conform to that declaration. In Genoa the focus is on container seals and how they can be verified. Those two demonstrations are based on end user needs and the user requirements are then deduced from the needs. At the main demonstration in Bologna, however, a larger number of system functionalities will be demonstrated in parallel. In this context it is relevant to use state of the art technology as a starting point for the specification of the demonstration. To base everything on unbiased end user needs is too risky considering the multiplication of Research and Development uncertainties in complex systems.
  • ST5.1.2 is all about Project Assessment Methodology: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are vital in project assessments. Relevant KPIs are defined based on stakeholder and project objectives as well as project success criteria. As far as possible the existing and target KPI levels are specified. Innovations and technical breakthroughs are also highlighted. One particular aspect of the evaluation is how to describe and quantify both negative and positive unintended side-effects of the demonstrated systems.
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Contain presented at 8th Future Security Research Conference this week.

CONTAIN was presented in 8th Future Security Research Conference held in Berlin on 17-19 September 2013 and organised by Fraunhofer VVS under the patronage of German Ministry of Education and Research.

The project was covered in the poster session along with more than 30 other European projects  covering a wide range of security aspects, such as urban security, protection of infrastructure, instruments and devices for scanning, cyber and electronic control, etc.

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The CONTAIN project year 1 review will be held on 16 November

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