Skip to main content

Participatory Operational Assessment (POA): Evaluating and Predicting the Operational Effectiveness of Cargo Security Processes at Ports of Entry Maria Burns - University of Houston


This research addresses the goals of the DHS to measure, assess, and predict the impact of security and cargo flow processes, in order to facilitate secure and legitimate trade and travel. A robust Risk Assessment (RA) and Participatory Operational Assessment (POA) methodology is created by the project to help improve processing times and operational efficiency of inbound containerized cargoes in U.S. Ports of Entry (POEs), while the land border of Laredo, Texas will serve as testbed. A wealth of land-borders related data is analyzed to examine the impact and relation among different productivity factors. The project seeks to satisfy the compelling need to intensify the security risk management and cargo screening processes for cargoes and passengers, at U.S. land borders, POEs and overseas. It specifically addresses the mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to scan 100% of inbound containerized cargoes and screen all passengers and cargoes in the 328 sea, land and air ports of entry within the nation. The first year’s deliverables applied to seaport containers, whereas the second year’s deliverables will apply to land border containers transported by land, i.e. via trucks and rail.