Demand is high for dogs in the air logistics sector, and it’s not because they make nice companions during the self-isolation of coronavirus.
In just four months, new international security standards go into effect requiring countries to implement programs for 100% screening of every shipment on all-cargo aircraft. It’s a huge undertaking for the private sector, which is still waiting for the US Transportation Security Administration to issue rules detailing how to achieve that goal.
Many airlines and freight service providers are opting for trained canines to check for explosives, because they often are more cost-effective and cheaper than imaging technology or other methods.
The bomb detector dogs are also the quickest way to comply for exporters and transport providers that were slow to prepare because of the pandemic or procrastination, industry officials and security experts say. And uncertainty over whether the TSA will exempt e-commerce retailers, and other large businesses, from checking each shipment if their facilities provide equivalent security has further increased interest in canine teams.
“There’s going to be a tremendous surge in the demand for canines, and indirect air carriers and all-cargo carriers are probably going to be scrambling to get canines in place by June 30,” said Doug Brittin, a former head of TSA’s air cargo division who developed programs for screening air cargo on passenger planes.
“You can’t just throw on a canine team in 30 days. You’ve got to find the dogs, you’ve got to train them and go through the certification process. It could easily take 60 to 90 days on the short side to get teams in place,” he said… American Shipper