Screening cargo poses logistical nightmareThe recent attempted bombing of cargo intended to reach the US exposed gaping holes in the shipping system, garnering cries for improved screening processes. Currently, only about 20 percent of cargo is screened, which poses a major threat to homeland security and creates a supply chain management quandary.

Analysts caution against implementing a new security system right away, noting that the cost of screening all cargo that is transported by air could potentially bankrupt international shipping companies and harm already weakened airlines without providing tangible benefits.

The most effective way to check cargo - swabbing packages individually – is nearly impossible to implement because of the massive delays it would cause in the delivery of consumer goods. Analysts gauge the cost of such measures in the billions of dollars, unfeasible for many developing nations.

Additionally, screening all packages is a logistical nightmare. Presently, more than 50 percent of all cargo that enters the US is carried in passenger planes. Cargo traveling on passenger planes in the US must be checked according to federal law, at a cost of more than $700 million per year. James Halstead, a consultant with Aviation Economics, told ABC News that in a worst case scenario such screening "would stop world trade" if carried out.   
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