Christine Spigai

As the industry marches ever closer to a final roll-out announcement from the TSA regarding a third-party Explosive Detection Canine (EDC) program Opens in a new window, organizations are reminded to prepare. In our last blog, we reviewed the value of a comprehensive facility and operational assessment in drawing a baseline for understanding existing facility vulnerabilities. That assessment yields critical and actionable intel by identifying key operational areas of focus.

However, addressing operational considerations alone will not sufficiently prepare an organization planning to implement a third-party canine program. There are several budgetary requirements that also need to be given attention.

Measure Utilization: By conducting an expert canine utilization assessment, an organization is best equipped to determine the optimum canine deployments that will meet its unique screening requirements. Never a one-size-fits-all solution, canine deployment needs are always custom measured to an organization based on a variety of factors, such as the type of cargo or freight being screened, current operational screening hours, environment considerations, and operational variations between all cargo carriers, freight forwarders, airlines, and authorized ground handlers.

Calculate Specific Needs: By using timely assessment results, an organization must build a scope of deployment. This will include the number of canine / handler teams, as well as the number of posts required to successfully meet current – and anticipated – volume and screening hours.

Establish a Realistic Procurement Budget: Forecasted total hours should be used to estimate the cost of canine deployment. When developing a budgetary model, consider the cost of canines versus inherent benefits derived from deployment. Review a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

Reduction in screening staff

  • Enhanced ability to meet lock-out windows
  • Reduction in alarms
  • Potential ability to expand screening
  • Improved logistics
  • Better facility space utilization

The addition of private sector EDC teams, certified to TSA standards, will benefit regulated cargo carriers of all sizes. Once the TSA announcement is made, the demand for skilled EDC teams will be significant and wide spread. In our next blog, we will look at regulatory considerations that impact readiness.


Click here for our downloadable preparedness checklist Opens in a new window

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