By Brad Morehouse
and Curt Morehouse
According to many industry reporting outlets, cargo theft has been on the rise and reached a record high in 2011. The US Cargo Theft Report shows the cargo theft rate rose 8.8% from 2010 with average losses of $319,000. With these numbers and the amount of incidents on the rise, many trucking companies and shippers need to increase their security protocols within their supply chains.
It’s easy to know when your entire truck and trailer has been stolen; it can be gone in minutes. Paying for that theft is painful for trucking companies and shippers alike. However what can be more aggravating and frustrating is paying for a load that has not been stolen, but instead has had the trailer seal compromised during transit before arriving to your customer’s location. With food product the main freight we haul, the seal has become just as important as getting the load delivered on time.
Our company, W N Morehouse Truck Line Inc based in Omaha NE, has made in-transit security a priority. More than 25 years ago, our father Jerry Morehouse Jr encountered a transportation security company, Transport Security Inc based in Waconia MN, at an annual trucking conference and discovered its new product for securing trailer doors. He invited company representatives to our offices and put the Enforcer Adjustable Trailer Lock through rigorous physical attacks. After working up a sweat and getting nowhere with the lock, he outfitted our entire fleet with the locks.
Fast-forward 25 years to today’s current trucking environment. As a trucking company, we are responsible for not only getting the load delivered on time and intact, but we also need to ensure that the inexpensive seal used to verify integrity of the shipments remains intact and on the trailer during transit of food or pharmaceutical products. Shippers have no choice but to refuse an entire load if they cannot verify integrity of the shipment through the entire supply chain process.
As trucking company owners, we imagined our fleet of almost 200 trailers and trucks parked in various parts of the country during shipments of our customer’s products becoming vulnerable. Something as simple as a driver from another company jokingly pulling a trailer seal off or a mischievous teenager “popping” a seal on a trailer loaded with frozen shrimp for fun can cost us thousands—if not hundreds of thousands—of dollars in claims, not to mention a customer possibly lost because of a missed delivery.
We foresaw this scenario before it ever happened to us. Transport Security Inc, which we had been working with for years, was the most obvious place to turn to for a security solution that could assist us in preventing such an incident from happening. It was able to offer a security solution that seamlessly fit into our operations: the Enforcer Seal Guard Lock for trailers. The Seal Guard Lock affixes to trailer doors over the trailer latch and completely encases and covers the trailer seal, preventing any tampering or unauthorized removal. The device is secured with a high-security padlock that resists physical attacks.
“With claims from trailer seals breakages ranging anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 per incident, it was a no-brainer to add the Enforcer Seal Guard Lock to our security protocols as it prevents these costly claims from occurring while in transit,” said Brad Morehouse, vice-president of Morehouse Trucking.
After taking time to evaluate the new security solution, we were able to implement this upgraded security feature within our entire fleet, providing not only an increase in security for our trailers but also a value-added service to our clients.
”We initially implemented the Enforcer Adjustable Door Locks to let us know that our load was secure while in transit, adding the Seal Guard Lock allows us to add another layer of security and show our customers that the load has not been compromised,” said Curt Morehouse.
We value our customers and took the initiative to see the issue occurring out there and combat the problem fleetwide, saving the company and our client’s money and headaches.
For complete details, visit www.morehousetruckline.com or www.transportsecurity.com.
About the authors: Brad Morehouse is vice-president and Curt Morehouse is secretary-treasurer of Morehouse Truck Line. The firm was started by William Newel Morehouse in 1932 as a one-man operation; it has grown to have more than 150 employees and operates an average of 120 trucks and 180 trailers.