Cargo safety is vital for both shipping companies and logistics companies as theft of goods they transport could lead to substantial financial losses for them and their clients.
The condition is also applicable to courier services that often accept the responsibility of delivering valuable items like precious jewelry and art. As with other countries of the world, shipping in Canada, too stands to be vulnerable to such thefts in spite of ample security measures taken.
Transit trucks carrying metal, food, and electronics are most vulnerable to 87% of thefts, particularly when parked at night. The following are the 6 major safety measures taken by shipping and logistics companies:
1. Exhaustive Lock Checking
Logistics companies and shippers double check seals and locks before vehicular movement. This is the first and basic step towards cargo safety and the most important. Based on the adage that prevention is better than a cure, courier services particularly, use high tech electronic locks on their bags that are almost impossible to break.
The advent of modern technology has also enabled the use of satellite-controlled pins for more security. Indicative and Barrier Mechanical seals also outwit thieves because of advanced security features like laser engraving and ISO certification.
2. Shipping Companies Never Reveal Where the Cargo is Going
They are absolutely tight lipped about the cargo’s destination except with those who matter most. Secrecy is a salient weapon for warding off thieves, particularly in express cargo services, where thieves usually get information from company insiders and make their moves.
3. Logistics Companies track cargo electronically
Technology has enabled transporters to opt for electronic tracking devices like GPS systems and Geo-fencing equipment. This involves installation of trackers in the shipment which locates goods even if they are removed from the ship or truck.
Geo-fencing similarly, alerts shipping and logistics companies if the cargo shifts from its pre-determined route by virtually fencing off the shipment and with its tracking device monitoring the whole route till goods are delivered. If the device is destroyed or damaged, alerts are automatically sent to the police and the shipper. Geofencing also prevents a vehicle from entering or leaving certain areas.
4. Red Zone Alertness
No, this has nothing to do with any touch down talk! The thumb rule is to be alert when the goods are in the red zone or the first 200-mile area from the starting point. This is because the likelihood of theft increases within that zone. Logistics companies therefore, instruct their staff not to make pit stops or avoid stopping within the red zone completely.
5. Make Minimum Stops and Keep Eyes Open
Keep moving and be alert always. That’s the golden rule of shipping and logistics transportation. The lesser the stops, the lesser the chances of pilferage. While training their staff, logistics companies set mileage minimums and instruct them to take minimal stoppages from one pit stop to another. Often two drivers are on duty to drive alternately.
6. Safe parking
This involves avoiding parking in lonely and dim lit spaces. Rather park where surveillance cameras operate. The truck also has to be locked securely and keys are never to be left in it for a moment also.
These steps could help protect shippers and logistics companies prevent theft, the value of which touched a whopping $5 billion last year. That is not as much as Chicago and California are in debt but it is a lot nonetheless.