Friday, March 30, 2012


Cargo theft on rise


An article headed Cargo theft risk may be higher than thought by Sean Kilcarr, senior editor of Fleet Owner, introduces a "secondary risk" for many organizations.

The problem, which directly relates to transportation organizations, is in-transit theft of product.

Strangely enough, the article notes, "low value" thefts - theft of goods valued at US$50,000 or less - is on the rise while theft of goods valued above US$50,000 is declining.

The article quotes Tom Mann, president of TrakLok, a company that provides trailer and container security systems, that maintaining secure custody of freight as it moves through the supply chain is one of the biggest challenges the transportation industry faces as it deals with the threat of cargo theft.

“It’s a problem that really requires ‘layered’ security solutions,” he explained. “It’s not just about putting a lock on a trailer or container; it’s about connecting that lock to GPS and Geofencing technology so it can only be opened at origin or destination and at a certain time – with alerts sent out if the lock is opened or removed outside of those pre-set time windows or is tracked deviating from a prescribed route.”

The concern for non-transportation organizations is to assure that product is properly and fully protected from the time it leaves the point of origin to the final destination.

Admittedly, most cargos are covered by insurance, but most of us know that repeated claims drive up insurance premiums. It might be practical to either (a) insist that the carrier(s) have secure systems to protect the cargo or (b) for the company to invest, and apply, such systems. This would seem most appropriate for multimodal shipments. (Bear in mind that Customs may need to open a container; how that issue is handled needs to be clarified between the shipper and Customs officials in the origin and destination countries.)

Preventing cargo theft should be a concern for all manufacturers, if only to assure that the transportation organization(s) implement advanced security measures.

If I wrote it, you may quote it.

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