Archives/Subscribe | www.foodshippersofamerica.org October 10, 2011

Seven Steps to Prevent Cargo Theft and Protect the Supply Chain By Nick Erdmann, Transport Security, Inc


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1. Screen Employees
Conduct a background check to screen all employees, but at minimum, drivers and warehouse employees as well as anyone who has access to shipment information and other logistics details. This is your first line of defense against employee theft and their potential involvement in cargo crimes.

2. Training for All Employees
Provide security training for all employees, and especially make sure to educate truck drivers in hijack awareness and prevention. It is for their protection as well as the protection of the cargo. By training how to protect the truck from hijacking and theft, five important assets are safeguarded: employee, trailer, tractor, cargo and customers. Experience shows that a driver who knows, understands and follows the basic tenets of security is less likely to have his truck targeted for theft.

3. Be Smart in Selecting Transportation Partners
Select transportation partners and intermediaries wisely, making sure they share your security philosophy, such as requiring strict pre-hire vetting of prospective employees and training for drivers. Remember you are entrusting your goods and, to some extent, your reputation, to these companies.

4. In-Transit Security
Consider in-transit security when deciding on shipment routing. Cargo theft can be pre-planned or opportunistic. It can involve an inside informant who stakes out and follows the truck or an experienced thief, organized crime or fence who will quickly dispose of the goods. Cargo thieves routinely wait outside known shipping points  (e.g., plants, warehouses and distribution centers) and follow trucks as they depart, waiting for the drivers to stop. A good rule of thumb is to ask drivers not to stop within the first 200 miles or four hours, use secured lots and avoid cargo theft hot spots. Also, donít give high risk and high value loads to new drivers.
 
5. Counter Surveillance
Include counter surveillance in the duties of your security guards. Have them patrol away from the perimeter and look for people looking at you. Trucks and cargo are most vulnerable to theft when sitting idle. "Freight at rest is freight at risk. Additional security measures for drivers include parking in well lit secure lots, limiting the time trailers and loads are unattended and observing or evaluating surroundings for potential dangers.

6. Take Advantage of Technology
When it makes sense, install alarm-surveillance systems and respond to every alert. Ensure the perimeter, entrances, building doors and windows are well lit. Use vehicle and cargo tracking, vehicle immobilizers, including anti-theft heavy duty trailer locks tractor air cuff locks and advanced security seals. No matter what you purchase and install, a multi-layer approach combined with a viable escalation and response plan is essential.

7. Conduct Audits
Conduct periodic supply chain audits and look for gaps in shipment protection. Cargo criminals are always coming up with new ways to defeat security devices and systems. By assessing your own system first, youíll have the opportunity to close the gaps in your supply chain. It is better to anticipate criminal moves than have to react to them.

Contact Nick Erdmann.

 

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