The independent resource on global security

Archived research

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Transport and Security

Archived research theme
Cargo ship at sea
Cargo ship at sea. Photo: Alex Kolokythas Photography

Transport and security at SIPRI focuses on the sea and air transport of conflict-sensitive, destabilizing or illicit commodity flows such as military equipment, dual use (WMD) goods, narcotics as well as smuggling activities relating to tobacco, oil and counterfeit goods.

Products include software, field and HQ-based training, manuals, expert seminars, open source intelligence (OSI) collaborative information-sharing models and an internet-based clearinghouse serving the global humanitarian aid and peace support communities.

Current and past donors include the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Ministry of Defence, the Swedish International Development & Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission (ECHO) and the European Union (EU) and the MacArthur Foundation.


Research initiative

Air transport plays a central role in the transfer of destabilizing commodities in a variety of conflicts or fragile states in Africa and South America. Research undertaken at SIPRI in the field of air transportation shows that enhanced regulation and monitoring of airspace and cargo companies is a key element for improving security in a number of regions and conflict zones.

maritime transport - world map
Research initiative

Maritime transport accounts for at least 80% of global trade and includes significant quantities of potentially destabilizing commodities such as weapons, narcotics ammunition and other hazardous materials. The monitoring and control as well as the protection of maritime actors is complicated by the trans-national nature of the global shipping industry, flags of convenience and the emergence of non-state actor threats such as piracy. At a time when naval forces are being reduced due to budget cuts imposed as a result of the financial crisis, CIT-MAP maritime transportation research on destabilizing commodity flows focuses on three key areas.

container ship
Research initiative

The SIPRI Vessel and Maritime Incident Database (VMID) contains information on vessels involved in destabilizing commodity flows and illicit maritime activities from the 1980's to the present day.

Research staff

no researchers