When you are tasked with moving high-value cargo like artwork, high-priced electronics, or other expensive freight, it’s important that you know how to properly secure it. The fact is we live in an age where shippers, fleets and receivers must all be on guard against criminal elements who want nothing more than to make off with that valuable cargo.
Whether Red Zone thefts are on the rise or fall, proper diligence is always necessary. Whether you are a shipper dealing with false driver credential scams or a truck driver just trying to stay safe at a dark and less-used truck stop, there’s plenty to consider where cargo security is concerned.
At Greater Risk
While high-value goods have always required extra security, several factors are contributing to a recent rise in theft trends. As the world’s appetite for expensive luxury goods increases, the need for greater security measures also goes up.
Longer supply chains also add additional points of risk. Furthermore, crime organizations have become very sophisticated in deciphering routes and routines. Certainly, every market brings with it specific risks, as well as varying business practices. It’s important that fleet security managers can navigate these waters.
Increasingly at risk are high-value electronics shipments. In many cases manufacturers simply can’t keep the point of origin close enough to the intended recipient. So what should you be watching out for?
Bad Guy Tactics
One of the ways cargo thieves are getting smart is through the use of technology. As rapid technological advancement changes our lives, so too is it changing how the bad guys do their dirty work.
Such technological strategies include GPS jamming. In this scenario, a thief will drive alongside a truck and use a device that blocks the vehicle’s GPS signal. They can then hijack the truck and load the cargo onto a second vehicle.
And yet, fleets aren’t sitting on their hands. Modern motor carriers enable countermeasures such as RF beacons and jamming detectors.
Good Guy Tactics
First, shippers must make sure they are assessing the security needs using a risk measure. After all, you can’t assign an escort to every shipment worth more than $1 million. There are other tactics both shippers and motor carriers can employ to increase the safety of their loads.
One quick and simple method is through the use of speed, and we aren’t talking about breaking the speed limit. We’re talking about shippers using expedited services and motor carriers finding direct routes. All parties involved want to decrease touch points and dwell time as much as they can.
Predictive modeling is one such way industry insiders can get a better view of the overall security situation. In the age of big data and interconnectivity, it isn’t hard to find nuggets of useful information concerning your cargo.
Also consider that heightened supply chain visibility increases the chances that the receiver actually receives those luxury items. Software also allows carriers to easily communicate with all parties involved. Better communication makes it easier to uncover deviations in the normal routine, all of which could signal a problem.
Final Steps for Secure Cargo
Beyond ensuring high visibility, you’ll want to ensure you are consistently assessing the processes and procedures your company has in place. How protected are your point-of-origin facilities? Is the entire network covered?
Another important consideration is to ensure goods are properly prepared and loaded for transit. The onus of responsibility falls on both carrier and shipper. All too often the term, “it fell of the truck” can be heard. Utilize things like shrink-wrapping, banding or strapping to keep high-value items safe during transit.
Also consider two-driver teams, geo-location technology and special procedures for what truck drivers should do when they are hauling valuable items. Even GPS-embedded cargo is becoming a oft-utilized method.
Whatever you do, remember that keeping high-value cargo safe is easier said than done. With the right policies and committed players, it’s possible for your organization to get it right.