More than any other holiday season, the Christmas and New Year period is the season for freight theft. The volume of easily sold consumer products in transit and parked make for enticing targets for criminal elements. The elongated holiday and trimmed staff present a security challenge for carriers and warehouses that are ill-prepared for this downtime.
Some highly attractive goods are especially vulnerable to theft while in transit. Computer equipment, high-tech components, consumer electronics, designer apparel and accessories, wine and spirits, cigarettes, cosmetics/perfume and pharmaceuticals historically are among the favorite targets for thieves. Goods that are especially desirable tend to share the same characteristics:
- High value-to-size ratio
- Difficult to identify as stolen
- Easy to transport
- Easy to sell – high “street” value.
Here are some tips for freight in transit and warehoused:
Freight in Transit Security Protocols
- If you need to leave your rig unattended, choose a secure area such as another carriers yard or customer facility.
- If a truck stop is your only option, choose a well lit area with security camera coverage.
- Today, satellite technology alerts can be set to advise dispatch of any unauthorized truck movement or engine starts.
- Secure the tractor and trailer with a steering wheel locking device, kingpin locks, glad-hand locks. Always use industrial strength padlocks on trailer doors.
- Easily identifiable roof top trailer decals can help identify a stolen rig from the air.
- Plan your shipment departure so that it will arrive at destination during normal working hours, unless your customer has established appropriate afterhours receiving procedures.
- Make your shipment documentation as generic as permissible by law or regulation. Use general terms or coded information rather than specific identification of shipper and consignee or description of your goods.
- Ship your goods door-to-door to minimize, if not eliminate, en route transfers or transshipments.
- Require documented accountability (sign-off of count and condition) every time your shipment changes hands during transit.
- Avoid making shipments late in the week, as your goods will likely sit in a large sort center, regional hub or cargo terminal during the weekend when there is less supervision and security on hand.
- Limit access to sensitive shipment data and documentation to those within your company who “need-to-know.”
Facility Security Protocols
- Perform regular tests to ensure existing security is in working order and backup battery systems are fully charged.
- Review the alarm call list for accurate personnel and contact numbers.
- Review holiday hours with local law enforcement and request additional patrolling if possible.
- Be sure all warehouse equipment is secured and keys are locked up.
- Perimeter fencing should enclose the areas around cargo handling and storage facilities. In the event there is no perimeter fencing, procedural practices to secure the yard from unlawful entry and protection from outside intrusion must be documented.
- All Gates where vehicles and/or personnel enter or exit must be manned and/or monitored. The number of gates should be kept to the minimum necessary for proper access and safety.
- Adequate lighting must be provided inside and outside the facility including the following areas: entrances and exits, cargo handling and storage areas, fence lines and parking areas.
Personnel Security Protocols
- A threat awareness program should be established and maintained by security personnel to recognize and foster awareness of the threat posed by terrorists at each point in the supply chain. Employees must be made aware of the procedures the company has in place to address a situation and how to report it. Additional training should be provided to employees in the shipping and receiving areas. Additionally, specific training should be offered to assist employees in maintaining cargo integrity, recognizing internal conspiracies, and protecting access controls. These programs should offer incentives for active employee participation.
- Personnel charged with sensitive access to product and information should be screened and regularly reviewed. An employee identification system, such as card access control, must be in place for positive identification and access control purposes. Employees should only be given access to those secure areas needed for the performance of their duties.
- Warehouse should provide employees with procedures manuals covering process supporting all supply chain activities. Warehouse should also provide periodic internal training programs covering warehouse activities including the importance of maintaining cargo integrity.
Utilizing these suggestions or requiring them from your transportation/warehousing providers will maximize the protection of both your cargo and brand integrity.
Land-Link Traffic Systems is your one-stop resource for your supply chain, logistics, and transportation management needs! For more information or a free assessment, call us at 732-899-4242 or click the button below.