Last week, police arrested 31-year-old truck driver John Manuel for stealing close to $200,000 worth of electronics destined for Walmart. Upon delivering to the Louisiana store, Walmart employees noted 90 televisions and sound bars to be missing from load. Authorities discovered that Manuel was stealing the merchandise and selling them on Craigslist. He is currently being held without bail.1
While insider cargo theft is nothing new to the industry, the use of 3D printing to steal products is becoming more popular and poses a large concern to the supply chain.
While in existence since the 1980s, G4S Corporate’s Robert Dodge explains why the emergence of 3D printing to steal products has come to light lately. “Technology that once required an understanding of computer-aided design and expensive and large equipment to fabricate items now costs in the range of hundreds of dollars and doesn’t require the same knowledge levels as before,” Dodge said. “For a few hundred dollars, a person can purchase a 3D scanner to produce a near-perfect replica. But criminals do not even need to purchase their own 3D printers. They can easily send the specifications or pictures to any number of 3D printing companies or individuals around the world without any questions asked.”2
Thieves make use of 3D printing to create counterfeit cargo seals, security locks and even keys.2By replicating seals, thieves are able to break into a sealed container, remove the products, and then reseal it like it was never touched. By the time theft is discovered and recorded, the thief is long gone.
Even if recovered, cargo theft continues to reach deep into the pockets of manufacturers. Take, for example, a few weeks ago in which two trailers full of SweetWater Brewing Co.’s beer had been had been stolen. Even though most of the cargo was recovered, the company still had to destroy the products to ensure that a contaminated product was not put on the market.
This quarter alone, CargoNet recorded 167 cargo thefts valued at $21.4 million.320% of these products were food & drinks, followed by home and garden (14%) and industrial supplies (13%).3
While cargo theft is always going to be around, with thieves developing more intelligent ways to steal cargo, experts still suggest the following prevention methods: GPS tracking on the truck and trailer, covert tracking in products, physical security which includes locks and seals, driver training, and vetting out safe carriers.3
Road Scholar Transport’s purpose is to provide 1st class transportation products and creative solutions while delighting the customer. Our first responsibility is to our customer (as individuals, their product, and their brand). We are committed to providing our customers with innovative tracking and security technology solutions at a fair return and are committed to safety at our facilities and on roadways. Additionally, we are committed to protecting the environment and energy efficiency.
Our company is synonymous with security, technology, safety, and on time transportation and has become a problem solver to our customers, molding and adapting to their specific needs. Growing each year, Road Scholar Transport remains a family business who never forgot its roots.