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Key Questions Shippers Should Ask Carriers About Security

Published on
May 2, 2024 at 10:20:45 AM PDT May 2, 2024 at 10:20:45 AM PDTnd, May 2, 2024 at 10:20:45 AM PDT

Protecting cargo is crucial for both shippers and carriers. As a shipper entrusting your goods to a truck carrier, it's important to inquire about their security measures to safeguard your shipments against theft and loss. Here are key questions to ask your carrier regarding security:

What Security Protocols Are in Place During Transport?

Understand the carrier's procedures for securing shipments during transit. Inquire about the use of locks, seals, and tracking systems to monitor cargo in real-time. Carriers should have a layered security program in place. Physical security devices should be used to secure the back doors and side doors. All lock selections should be heavy duty and made of high quality materials such as the ABLOY padlock range. In addition, security devices should be used whenever the loaded trailer is dropped. This may include a king pin lock, landing gear lock, and/or a glad hand lock. Unattended trucks should also be secured with an air brake lock.

How Are Drivers Screened and Trained?

Inquire about the carrier's driver screening process and ongoing training related to cargo security. Verify that drivers are knowledgeable about security protocols and are equipped to handle potential threats. Ask if drivers are informed of threat levels in the areas they are driving through.

Are Vehicles Equipped with GPS Tracking?

GPS tracking technology can enhance cargo security by providing real-time location updates and alerts. Ask if the carrier's vehicles are equipped with GPS tracking systems and how this technology is utilized. GPS technologies can also be used to monitor the progress of shipments and confirm the legitimacy of the carrier handling the freight. 

What Measures Are Taken to Prevent Unauthorized Access?

Learn about the carrier's strategies for preventing unauthorized access to shipments. This may include facility security, access controls, and procedures for securing trailers during stops. According to CargoNet, the top targeted location for theft is warehouses/distribution centers. Physical security devices should be in use at these locations at all times.

How Does the Carrier Handle Incidents of Theft or Security Breaches?

Understand the carrier's response protocols in the event of theft or security breaches. Inquire about reporting procedures, communication channels, and steps taken to mitigate risks.

Can You Provide References or Case Studies Related to Security?

Request references from other shippers or case studies demonstrating the carrier's effectiveness in maintaining cargo security. This can offer insights into their track record and approach to security challenges.

Remember, proactive security measures and a comprehensive understanding of security practices will contribute to a more secure and reliable transportation experience for shippers and carriers alike. By asking these essential questions, shippers can make informed decisions when selecting a carrier and strengthen their supply chain security. Effective communication and collaboration between shippers and carriers are fundamental to mitigating security risks and ensuring the safe transportation of goods.