According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, cargo theft in the United States is a $15 to $35 billion problem. We wrote about this topic a few years ago, but with stalled supply chains, bottlenecks, and all the other variables that clog the industry, it’s easy to forget about cargo theft prevention.
That’s why we thought it would be a good time for a little refresher. Check out the tips below to help cut down on cargo theft in your supply chain.
Educate Your Team
An educated team is a secure team. All team members should be educated on what to do in case of hijacking or other tactics used by thieves. They should also be briefed on their level of clearance and any vulnerabilities that may accompany it. While many companies perform background checks before extending an offer of employment, it’s also important to provide security training to new members of the team. This can also be a great refresher for long-standing team members, as well.
With that in mind, it’s important to limit the exposure of potentially sensitive information to only team members who need to have it. Access to shipping information shouldn’t be taken lightly, so protecting it should be a solid priority. Just be certain to communicate with each security level about how sensitive the data is and what they can do to help protect it.
Lock It Up
This may sound basic, but a classic lock and key can help keep your cargo safe. Many thieves commit “crimes of opportunity,” meaning they will take advantage of a potentially advantageous situation. Long story short? If given the choice, the average thief wouldn’t want to mess with a lock. They’d rather go for an open container or one with an easily removed securing mechanism.
Depending on your situation, you may find it helpful to get a variety of locks: landing gear locks, air cuff locks, rear door locks…and the list goes on. This “simplistic” barrier can pose quite the challenge for people trying to get a hold of your cargo, and it’s also a great deterrent for those simply seeking out “easy” opportunities.
Remember when we told you how important data security is in logistics? This is what we were talking about. For starters, know your weaknesses and vulnerabilities as a company. Your staff, software, and systems need to be in check for cybersecurity to be checked off your list.
If you don’t have a data security policy, create one. From there, make sure your team understands their guidelines (and makes complicated passwords!). Use reputable systems that report suspicious activity. As our technology progresses, those stealing cargo progress along with them. Be careful and prioritize cyber safety.
Perform Regular Audits
Before your cargo leaves the facility? Audit. Once your cargo arrives? Audit. Are you noticing a pattern along certain routes or at specific times of the day? It’s time for another audit.
Internal audits can keep your tracking accountable and updated in real-time. This method is effective in identifying patterns and the next steps when it comes to theft. While auditing may take a while, it can also provide insights into cargo movements that could otherwise go easily overlooked in the grand scheme of things.
Employ a Security Force
When in doubt, don’t skip out on physical security. In addition to locks on cargo containers, many organizations hire security officers or employ a private security force. There are options for traveling security as well as patrolling security at your warehouses or headquarters.
In addition to this, it’s also a smart idea to install surveillance cameras and other alarm technology to ensure cargo is safe. Requiring team members to enter a passcode or show a badge to enter high-value areas of the organization can help keep out intruders.
Cargo theft can be a major issue if you’re not sure how to handle it. Hopefully, our blog gave you some good places to start. Feel free to reach out for customized recommendations for your organization.