A strong security culture is important for companies in the supply chain. It is increasingly imperative to put a security policy in place before a cargo theft event occurs. Equally as important is instilling the components of the policy in your employees. Loss prevention is everyone's job. Drivers at top trucking companies know the importance of security at their fleet. Thieves are getting smarter and more targeted and their theft techniques are more sophisticated. CargoNet estimates that $223 million in cargo was stolen across all cargo theft events in 2022. Here are some tips to help establish a culture of security at your company:
Develop a comprehensive security policy: The purpose of a security policy is to establish company-wide policies and guidelines for mitigating theft and protecting equipment. Make security part of your regular risk management plan to prevent theft. Security professionals often recommend a layered approach to reduce thefts. There are various solutions to protecting goods and equipment in transit and at rest. Each of these should be addressed in your policy. Security minded companies utilize multiple solutions, therefore having several layers of security in place. These layers should include high security locks such as hardened steel padlocks from ABLOY available at Transport Security, Inc. and other physical security devices. Other important layers include communication, procedures, technology, GPS, fencing, safe parking and more.
Train personnel: Security is everyone’s responsibility. After your security policy is put in place, train staff on the contents. New hires should be informed of the policy during training. Additionally, regularly scheduled training sessions should occur to update staff on security initiatives. Make these meetings easy to attend by offering virtual options and recorded sessions drivers can watch when they are not on the road.
Provide employees with the tools they need: Inform drivers and other employees as you learn of new theft tactics, location of thefts and other vulnerabilities. Membership in CargoNet and many cargo theft task forces can provide you with up-to-date theft data and reports of recent thefts. Professional cargo theft rings are dominating theft in many areas. Additionally, provide or make available any physical security devices you've selected, including locks for drivers and warehouse staff.
Audit your security policy: Check in on drivers and other employees to ensure that they are operating within your security protocol. By conducting these audits, you may find gaps in your policy. Use this information to make appropriate changes. A good security policy is only effective if everyone adheres to it.
Integrate security information into meetings or other communications: Provide security reminders in meetings, virtual driver meetings, staff newsletters, social media, emails and other communication channels your company utilizes. Regular reminders will help employees retain the policy and its importance. Part of maintaining a strong security policy includes promoting good communication amongst staff. Staff and drivers should never feel shy about reaching out if they have questions or concerns.
Reward employees for being proactive about security: Inform employees regularly about how their behaviors and actions affect security. Positive reinforcement can encourage employees to follow security best practices. You can do this by praising employees in company communications for following the security policy or offering bonuses when they are found to be using appropriate security measures.
Security culture needs to be important from the top down. Employees should understand the business risk. If a trailer is stolen or tampered with, the cost of missing goods can be very high. Additionally, the cost of stolen or damaged equipment, insurance claims and premiums, expedited freight costs and reputation risk must also be considered. Consider having all employees highlight security in action – if only top level management is looking for it, it may not be as effective as having everyone involved.