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.
If a trailer is stolen or tampered with, the cost of missing goods can be very high. To calculate the full cost of cargo loss, supply chain managers have to consider more than just the loss of the missing goods. Cost of stolen or damaged equipment, insurance claims and premiums, expedited freight costs and reputation risk must also be included.
Cost of equipment: If a truck or trailer is damaged or stolen during a theft, companies will need to pay for repairs or replacement. Sourcing new equipment or parts can be arduous. Supply chain interruptions during this down time can also be very costly. Future loads that were slated for the out-of-service tractor or trailer cannot be fulfilled, resulting in less income for the trucking company.
Insurance claims and premiums: The cost of an insurance claim after cargo theft should be considered by supply chain managers in addition to a likely insurance premium hike.
Expedited freight costs: Once a delivery is delayed due to theft, replacement goods need to be sourced and delivered. To stay as close to an on-time delivery as possible, often the replacement goods need to be shipped quickly at an additional cost to the company that incurred the theft.
Reputation risk: Whether you are a manufacturer or shipper, dependable deliveries are extremely important to you and your clients. Companies are less likely to look favorably upon those fleets who have experienced theft. They have to replace the stolen items to keep up with demand and have to manage the delivery disruptions. Delayed shipments can mean the end user seeks out a different product resulting in lost sales. Additionally the thieves can tamper with the stolen goods which can negatively effect the brand's reputation. Businesses may decide to cancel other deliveries or forgo the relationship entirely and seek out a more security minded fleet.
Avoid cargo loss
Many fleets view security as a cost without realizing the investment can have a positive impact on the overall financial picture. Fleets should take a layered approach to cargo security to protect their bottom line. Layers can include GPS tracking devices installed on trucks, full perimeter fencing at distribution and warehouses, driver education on where theft is occurring, safe parking options for drivers and high security locks. Heavy duty locks can be installed to secure trailers and prevent pilferaging. For dropped trailers, a device such as a king pin lock or landing gear lock can prevent theft of the entire trailer.
Retailers and manufacturers are encouraged to evaluate security standards for shipping companies and consider requiring heavy duty locks to secure products. This will help mitigate theft and disruptions to your supply chain.
Myth: Law enforcement is available to help with cargo theft.
Unfortunately cargo theft is a low priority for many police departments. It is viewed and dealt with like a property crime. It does not receive the attention that other theft, such as smash and grabs, do. Other types of crime take precedence over theft of freight. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), cargo theft is estimated to cost the U.S. $15 billion to $30 billion a year, though the true numbers may be even higher, since some businesses are hesitant to report thefts due to reputation risk. Trucking companies may be able to get recovery assistance from their insurance company, industry organizations or a private investigator.
Myth: Cargo theft is a crime of opportunity.
Cargo theft rings are increasingly more organized. Theft rings are very knowledgeable about what freight is moving where and who is moving it. They conduct surveillance on warehouses, ports, distribution centers and truck stops. They know what distributors and receivers are in certain areas. Current supply chain issues have led to trailers and containers piling up at ports and warehouses for longer durations. Cargo is also being left to sit in less secure locations. This is spurring cargo thefts nationwide as thieves have taken notice.
Cargo theft has also grown in sophistication. Thieves will falsify paperwork and other information to gain access to trucks and trailers.
Thieves do take advantage when they see an opportunity to quickly steal or pilferage a trailer though. Pilferage is when part of a shipment, rather than the entire shipment, is stolen. Cargo thieves have learned that breaking into a parked trailer and removing some goods is less risky than stealing the entire trailer. Often times pilferage is difficult to detect quickly, putting time and space between the thief and the crime. While this is viewed as low risk to the thief, trucking companies are faced with economic loss from the stolen products, insurance claims and damaged customer relationships. Pilferage can happen to a delivery truck during a busy delivery schedule. A driver may skip locking a padlock and hasp system when they go inside to make a delivery, resulting in unlocked doors. The ENFORCER Roll Up Door Lock is a heavy duty solution to this threat. The Roll Up Door Lock automatically locks when the box truck is closed. Often times this lock is referred to as a “slam lock”. When the door is closed, the interior jaws spring open to close around the carbon steel pins in the base that is welded to the floor.
Another security option for roll up doors that locks automatically is the ENFORCER® Trailer Lock Box #8055 which is permanently installed on the trailer door. The Lock Box replaces the standard trailer latch. The end of the trailer handle is inserted in the latching lock on the #8055. Lock is spring loaded to automatically lock when the handle goes into the lock mechanism. Provides protection without the hassle of having to put on and take off a padlock at multiple stops. Both ENFORCER locks include a high security ABLOY® lock cylinder that can be keyed individually or to a master system.
Myth: Only high value freight is targeted for theft.
All types of freight can be a target of theft or pilferage. Sometimes thieves don’t know what is in a trailer before stealing it. Criminals will steal anything they believe they can sell and almost all goods are fair game. Currently electronics are the most targeted items; theft of electronics is up 34% year-over-year according to CargoNet’s 2021 Supply Chain Risk Trends Analysis. Food is often targeted because it is easy to sell and the evidence is consumed. Fleets can be targeted because they aren’t utilizing high security locks. Companies should lock equipment and cargo with heavy duty locking devices. Invest in security devices that will deter criminals such as the ENFORCER Adjustable Rear Door Lock which includes an ABLOY padlock or utilize a hasp and padlock assembly. The ENFORCER King Pin Locks are heavy duty and secure dropped trailers and containers from theft while parked at terminals, distribution centers or retail stores. The King Pin includes an ABLOY lock cylinder.
Myth: Cargo theft only occurs in large cities.
While it is true that a large amount of cargo theft happens in large cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and Toronto; a growing amount of cargo theft is happening in rural areas. Rural areas are seeing an increase in theft because thieves have learned that local police departments are unable to provide much assistance. Agricultural cargo theft has increased in the past few years as well. Equipment and food items, such as nuts, have been targeted coming out of rural communities. Additionally, smaller ports are now seeing an increase in theft due to port logjams and higher amounts of cargo moving through.
Myth: Seal tampering is a cost of doing business.
Unauthorized seal tampering can be frustrating and expensive. Many types of seals are easy to compromise and trucking companies have to write-off expenses due to these instances. Receivers may reject a load due to seal compromise, costing shipper’s money and risking customer relationships. Fleets have an option to prevent seal issues. We recommend the ENFORCER Seal Guard Lock, a locking device that is permanently installed on the trailer and closes over the seal to protect the integrity of the load. The Seal Guard is available with a heavy duty ABLOY padlock.
Cargo theft continues to adapt, so we need to remain vigilant. Keep yourself and staff informed of industry trends and continue to be proactive in securing your equipment and cargo.
The trucks were about 90% full, with contents ranging from toys and refrigerators to washing machines and furniture
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An investigation into a major theft ring involving big trucks, trailers and assorted construction equipment valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars has been solved with the recovery of items and the arrests of three men.
The case, spearheaded by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, is likely to lead to additional arrests, according to Sheriff Bill Massee. Read article
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OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC) -Sixty-seven guns were stolen outside a sporting goods store in Olive Branch.
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Efforts in Mississippi and New Mexico, which are intended to deter the theft of truck, rail or container cargo through stiff punishment, have cleared hurdles. Read Article
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Truckers are being warned about the risk of cargo theft during the holiday weekend, especially in Southern California.
Since the beginning of the year, nearly $30 million in cargo has been stolen off of highways and from distribution centers throughout California. That is a 40% increase over last year, according to CargoNet, a cargo theft prevention and recovery network.
Read article: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Cargo-Theft-Expected-to-Surge-During-Holidays--402604795.html#ixzz4QqZ60dkK
FreightWatch International recorded a total of 193 cargo thefts in 2016’s third quarter, according to its quarterly theft report issued last week. The cargo theft monitoring firm pegged the average loss value of cargo theft instances in the quarter at $120,536 each in the third quarter of the year.
Compared to the 2016’s second quarter, theft occurrences rose 14 percent, but average loss value fell 26 percent. Compared to 2015’s third quarter, cargo theft incidents were up 7 percent, while values rose 38 percent.
During the third quarter, FreightWatch recorded 77 cargo thefts in July, 66 in August and 50 in September.
Electronics and home and garden were the most-stolen items in the quarter, each accounting for 18 percent of cargo thefts during the period, according to FWI. Food and drinks accounted for 17 percent of stolen items. In electronics, televisions and displays accounted for 31 percent of the thefts. In home and garden loads, appliances were most stolen. Meats and produce each accounted for 18 percent on the food and drinks items stolen.
Home and garden items saw the most dramatic increase in thefts when compared year-over-year with a 94 percent increase from 2015’s third quarter. Electronics thefts rose by 46 percent year-over-year.
California ranked as the top state in FWI’s numbers with 38 percent of total thefts in the quarter, followed by Texas with 16 percent of the total. Of the 193 thefts in the quarter, 75 percent of them occurred in unsecured parking locations, FreightWatch says. Secured parking locations accounted for 13 percent of thefts, and warehouse and distribution centers represented 11 percent of the thefts.
Additionally, FWI says theft of full truckload was most prevalent with 78 percent of third quarter thefts.