In recent years, the trucking industry has been noticing an increase in criminal activity that has become a cause for concern. Trucking companies and freight forwarders have been faced with an increase in thefts and tampering, even armed robberies. Even the best carriers are now forced to confront these unpleasant issues in order to reduce risks for their clients and employees and avoid unwanted costs.
While some level of risk is unavoidable in the transportation and logistics industry, there are steps carriers can take to increase supply chain security.
Maintaining secure facilities is vital in reducing the risk of criminal activity. Alarm systems are needed to prevent break-ins and theft, and the sophistication of these systems should increase with the value of the goods inside. Elements like motion detectors and video surveillance are needed for high-target products.
In order to reduce threats to freight outside the warehouse, companies should pay particular attention to appearances. It is recommended that freight be packaged in an inconspicuous manner to maintain a low profile. This could involve simple boxes or minimal branding. For security purposes, cargo should be sealed and boxes should be banded to the shipping pallet. Vehicles should have GPS systems and various locks.
Experts from Inbound Logistics note that product disappearance is a leading cause of loss in warehousing facilities, and around 80% of these incidents are employee-related. These statistics are unacceptable and cause additional costs and delays throughout the supply chain.
All new hires that might come into contact with merchandise should undergo screening and background checks, and all employees should be subject to periodic drug tests. The company should conduct training to educate new hires about security protocols. Periodic training should also be held for existing employees to ensure that everyone has a consistent understanding of security protocols.
Establishing strong partnerships with other companies is essential when transporting shipments across an expansive nation. That said, maintaining these partnerships requires significant communication and trust. Companies should be cautious when selecting business partners in order to mitigate risk.
Consider asking the following questions of potential business partners:
- What is your current claims rate?
- Are you aware of all threats that exist on your route?
- Do you conduct background checks on employees?
- Is your facility secure?
For companies with available resources, numerous companies provide supply chain security services, such as professional analysis and guidance, software and tools, and comprehensive training programs.