Every load of cargo is important to the shipper and receiver. However, there is a wide variety of products that require special security during their transport. These fall into several basic categories that create high-value targets.
They cover a wide range of items, including luxury goods, alcohol, jewelry, electronics, and pharmaceuticals. Other categories can be of lower value but represent risks or other factors, such as shipment of certain weapons and potentially dangerous materials.
In fact, the increase in concern over shipment security has motivated the creation of several industry groups to specifically address the need for added security, such as the Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition.
Factors Affecting the Trends
In today’s fractured logistics chain, even more common items, such as auto parts and specialty foods, are also attracting a new level of attention from thieves. While criminal organizations have always targeted such premium items, there is a marked movement to preying on them while in transit in less secure and protected environments.
The problems in the logistics chain include consolidations and firms closing their doors. This means that shippers, brokers, and expediters are often dealing with unknown individuals and firms that increase the risks of being defrauded.
Increasingly Well Planned and Effective
As we have noticed in previous posts, the threat to standard cargo shipments is on the rise. However, increasingly sophisticated thieves are making high-value shipments their prime targets. For example, a growing number of heists involve GPS-jamming techniques. A trailing vehicle will use a signal jammer to block GPS directions and then hijack a trucker’s load. They move the shipment to a second vehicle and then disappear before anyone is notified.
Another increasingly effective scam has a truck pull up to a warehouse with what appears as the proper markings. The driver will seem to have the proper credentials (faked) and all the other paperwork. The load is released and only later is it discovered the pickup was fraudulent when the real trucker arrives to accept the shipment. These scams often involve insiders helping identify the most expensive loads, even delivering specific load descriptions and shipping identifiers.
A Serious Problem Calls for A Serious Partner
If you are involved with products that require high-value transportation, you already understand the importance of working with the right partner. However, it may well be worth your while to conduct a careful analysis of the standards your current carrier follows for high-security shipments. If you are increasingly concerned about your shipments or are new to the requirements for effective high-security shipments, consider asking the following questions of any transportation partner you are considering:
- Are they a 100 percent asset-based carrier? (This provides control over maintenance, drivers, and procedures that provide significant additional security.)
- Do they offer expedited services? (expedited shipments lessen the time in transit and the risks involved)
- Does the firm have substantial experience with high-security shipments? If so, what is their track record?
- Does the firm have a proactive process for monitoring current trends in threats and security?
- Are the firm’s drivers regularly and effectively trained, screened, and proficient in high-security shipments?
- Do they provide 24/7 oversight, control, and dispatch?
- Do they use the latest technologies for tracking and monitoring vehicles in transit, including electronic door monitoring, automated email alerts, on-demand position monitoring, all with full nationwide coverage?
- Do they use U.S. Customs-approved Navalocks that are resistant to bolt cutters, chisels, and sledgehammers?
- Are all high-security shipments monitored real-time for location, temperature, and other telemetric factors?
- Can they provide geofencing capabilities for specific routes and customer needs?
Road Scholar Transport answers yes to all of these.
When your transportation partner drops the ball in any of these areas, the consequences can be expensive in ways beyond the value of any one shipment. Issues of protecting your brand, avoiding liability, and keeping insurance rates to the minimum are all factors that make your selection of a professional and proven partner a vital one.