Tips for Preventing Cargo Theft
It is an unfortunate fact that cargo theft is something that cannot be discounted as a major threat to a logistics operation. Wherever there is cargo sored at a location – and even wherever there is cargo being transported by means of road or rail – there is the chance that it can be stolen. This is why the security measures for valuable cargo are typically stringent and integrated with the security that stops that same cargo being damaged. Accordingly, any truck will transport goods tied down with cam straps or secured to metal rails along the inside of the cargo space.
Where there is transport, there is sadly always theft. However, the security measures put in place to prevent cargo theft are not always physical infrastructure. The question of information is also an important one. To steal some valuable cargo, thieves need to know what it is, where it is, and where it is going. In the electronic age, this means that data security.
General Best Practices
To that end, it might be worth laying out some of the top cargo security tips any haulage or storage organization can integrate into their security plan. There is also a wealth of good advice and best practices all employees involved in storing or transporting cargo should know.
Such advice can be disseminated during training days for cargo handlers, but the goal should be that this becomes second nature. A company can put in place all the security measures it likes, but if the actual people handling the cargo do not remember to behave responsibly and in accordance with security advice, then breaches become far more likely.
Rollercam, a tie down manufacturer, say that the most important thing is for employees to know how to use that equipment. Some equipment, such as ratchet straps, can be relatively simple but many more security systems require expertise that can only be learned during training sessions.
It is also worth ensuring that cargo-specific security practices are taken into account. Transporting a load of flat-screen televisions will require a different level and type of security than, say, transporting refrigerated goods.
Top Cargo Security Tips
Keep Information Secure
As mentioned above, the information about what your cargo is and where it is going needs to be kept out of the hands of bad actors. In practice, this means implementing company-wide policies to ensure that employees do not spread the word by mouth. It also means data security, namely things like closed networks, firewalls, and anti-virus software on company systems,
Do an Internal Audit
This is best carried out at the distribution center. This is not only because it will ensure the drivers are setting off with the right cargo loads, but also that internal theft (i.e., theft by those same employees) can be avoided. You should supplement internal audits with a solid inventory management system.
Watch Out for Theft Hotspots
We have already mentioned the distribution center, but there are many more places where cargo theft occurs. Cargo theft can occur in truck parking spots or at cross-docking centers where cargo is being moved between different transport vehicles.
But with who? If your cargo is moving through certain places regularly, you should link up with both law enforcement and other cargo companies in those places. This exchange of information can be invaluable for preventing cargo theft.
There is a lot of ways, places, and times that cargo theft can occur. The most important advice therefore might be to ensure all cargo security systems and best practices are developed with that information in mind.