Emily Horne and Tim Maly on the origins of the modern shipping industry and its puzzling lack of security:

At a 2005 hearing before the Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attack, witnesses raised a nightmare scenario: the Poor Man’s ICBM.

The theory is that you could load a shipping container with a nuclear weapon, or some other WMD, and watch it sail into somewhere like Port Newark, where it would explode while awaiting inspection. […]

100% scanning was meant to be implemented by 2012. When the law was passed, roughly 4% of shipping container cargo was being inspected. As of today, scanning has reached… 4%. The compliance deadline has been moved to 2016. It probably won’t happen then either.

Full Story: Primer: Seeing Like a Supply Chain