NEW YORK — An executive of carrier company APL Logistics in a recent speech said that logistics vendors can help importers comply with the higher levels of cargo security needed after last year’s terrorist attacks.

“Because our industry’s existing capabilities are based on carefully mapped, sound information-technology and operating processes, they can now be tightened and refocused against cargo terrorism — once clear standards are established by government and industry groups,” said Bill Villalon, the Los Angeles-based company’s president for the Americas. “We are further along than many people realize.”

Last month, the U.S. Customs Service unveiled a new cargo security plan that will require containers to be scrutinized by foreign customs services before being shipped to the U.S. Importers would then be responsible to make sure the containers remained unsealed and secure until they arrived at the U.S. port of entry.

Customs officials and some industry executives described the plan as a reasonable compromise that avoids importers’ biggest nightmare: inspections of all containers when they arrived at U.S. ports, which would slow the flow of goods to a trickle.

In his speech, at last month’s National Retail Federation conference in New York, Villalon said logistics companies already have systems in place to insure that goods arrive in place — systems that were already developed to prevent theft.

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