The world’s fourth largest importer and exporter of goods attracts sophisticated smuggling activities that require continually digitalized and automated safeguards.

Japan Customs has adopted advanced cargo inspection systems for screening trucks and cargo containers arriving at Jyonanjima and Kobe Customs at Mizushima. Installations of the two systems will start in April 2022.

The country is the world’s fourth largest importer and exporter of goods, making trade essential for its economy. In August 2021, imports and exports had risen by over 20% year-on-year as the country’s economy continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

However, with the high volume of trade comes greater opportunities for security and criminal threats. Even large volumes of contraband can escape detection amid the heavy workload of customs officials, while existing X-ray screening technology can be obfuscated in dense cargo volumes.

Therefore, the adoption of the high performance cargo inspection system is expected to help customs officials screen containers much more effectively. This X-ray stationary screening system utilizes a new upgraded conveyor mechanism that optimizes security checks by scanning whole trucks (cabin included), containers, and vehicles for threats and contraband.

Featuring a high throughput of up to 20 trucks per hour, steel penetration of up to 410mm, and offer enhanced image analysis capabilities due to the use of dual X-rays, the system has the intelligence to discriminate between organic and inorganic materials, thereby reducing the need for manual inspection while producing rapid and reliable results.

The technology is already deployed at various ports across Japan and at international ports such as Belgium’s Port of Antwerp and Israel’s Haifa Port. 

According to Kevin Davies, Global Director (Ports and Borders), Smiths Detection, the firm supplying the advanced screening systems: “As the volume of goods and trade increases globally, being technologically innovative is vital for establishing trust between stakeholders and maintaining the flow of goods through our local and global markets. With state-of-the-art technology and our global team, we look forward to strengthening the region’s ease of trade and securing movements of cargo around the world.”