Do You Know Where Your Cargo Is?

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Recent articles on cargo theft from eSide Supply Management and S&DC Executive highlighted a 2008 study from LoJack Supply Chain Integrity that uncovered 299 cargo thefts in 2008 (in the US) at truck stops, parking lots (including drop yards), facilities, warehouses, store locations, vehicles parked on the street, airports, casinos, ports and hotels across less than 600 organizations who belong to SC-ISAC. In other words, over 50% of organizations surveyed experienced cargo theft in 2008.

What does this mean? Simply put, if you move goods — you’re a target.

What can you do? First, identify your areas of highest risk. According to the study:

  • 65% (194/299) of incidents occurred at truck stops, in parking lots, (parked) on the street, and in store lots
  • 56% (168/299) of incidents occurred on the weekend
  • 52% (155/299) of incidents occurred in Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida

This says that:

  • your trucks are more likely to be targeted when they are in public areas which are less secure
  • your trucks are more likely to be targeted on the weekend when traffic and workforces are low / non-existent
  • your trucks are much more likely to be targeted in certain states, indicating the likely presence of organized crime rings

This says that you should:

  • avoid parking in un-secured public ares and, if you must, insure the trucks are monitored constantly
    (either through the use of a second driver who stays with the vehicle or real-time locator technology and software that immediately triggers an alert if the truck is moved without a clearance)
  • insure sufficient, if not extra, security is present on weekends
    on weekdays, you’ll have staff around who would notice a missing truck
  • minimize routes / stops through trouble zone
    and only use trucks that are well-secured and monitored in real-time

And follow the advice of LoJack Supply Chain Integrity which noted you should:

  1. Arm yourself with information
    What methods are criminals using to access the trucks, where are they most active, and what products are they targeting? The higher your risk, the more security you’ll need.
  2. Have a plan in place
    Be sure you’ve covered your supply chain end-to-end and that you:
    • review high-value shipper security requirements
    • developer corporate supply chain security guidelines
    • contact your insurance carrier about resources at your disposal
    • regularly evaluate and audit your transportation partners
    • establish contractual security requirements for partners
  3. Use deterrents
    Make sure your trucks have immobilization devices such as wheel locks, fuel shut-offs, air cuff locks, ignition locks, battery-disconnect switches, covert cargo-tracking, monitoring, and vehicle recovery systems.