The volume of airfreight transport is constantly growing. In 2015, according to Eurostat, 14.6 million tons of goods were transported across all EU airports, which represents 1,500 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower, or 40 times that of the Empire State Building.
Air cargo transportation systems are designed to provide fast and efficient shipment of goods. Because of its relatively high cost, airfreight is competitive mainly for long distances and relatively light, high-value or perishable goods. These features make them highly vulnerable to potential security threats.
The EU has a robust and well-established air cargo and mail security regime, that requires all cargo and mail to be physically screened or come from a secure supply chain before being loaded onto an aircraft. Since 1 February 2012, additional rules require air carriers carrying cargo and mail into the EU from non-EU airports to ensure security standards are complied with prior to loading.
Private security companies are a key stakeholder in delivering high quality and reliable screening air cargo and mail in a large number of airports.