North American port security market poised to expand

Physical security applications on the rise include access control, video surveillance and analytics, and screening and scanning devices
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FORT WORTH, Texas—The North American physical security market for marine ports is expected to maintain consistent growth over the next five years, due in part to the perception of the government that critical infrastructure facilities are prime targets for terrorists, according to a new report from MicroMarketMonitor, a market research company based here.

Between 2014 and 2019, the physical security segment of the North American port security market is expected to rise from $5.30 billion to $7.64 billion, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 7.6 percent, Rana Gopal, assistant manager-research at MicroMarketMonitor, told Security Systems News.

Ports in North America, as with many enterprises and other government institutions, are implementing robust physical security solutions because of the heightened potential for incidents of sabotage on critical infrastructure, “particularly by terrorists,” Gopal noted.

The physical security portion of the port security market includes access control, video surveillance and analytics, screening and scanning, and weapons, drugs and explosives detection. It also encompasses asset and visitor management, perimeter intrusion detection and fire protection, among other applications, Gopal told SSN.

Over the forecast period, Gopal expects a bevy of newer technological applications to become increasingly important to the evolving port security landscape. “Scanning technologies used by port authorities, national coast guards, customs officials and other law enforcement and security companies” are expected to become a more critical component of port security, he said, noting that such technologies are used to scan containers and vessels.

In port applications, integrators will also need to focus on technologies that help end users “seamlessly fit new devices into existing security infrastructure,” Gopal said.

Another factor fueling growth in the port security market is the demographic trend of urbanization, which is linked to an increase in crime rates. This trend especially affects security decision-making with marine ports, which are typically located in densely populated areas, placing a greater onus on governments, aware of the correlation between urbanization and crime, to enhance security accordingly.

Because the market is projected to remain on a relatively steady growth trajectory, Gopal says there are “no such implications yet that there will be any dip in security spending” in the North America port security market.