Fleet Security Best Practices
Cargo theft can happen at any stage of the supply chain; in the factory parking lot, at regional distribution centers, at retail store loading docks, and of course, at long haul trucking rest stops. This article discusses the best practices for protecting trucks and fleets, to minimize the vulnerability of raw materials and goods in transit.
Understand the Risks
Some criminals are getting quite sophisticated, hacking into computer systems to falsify delivery instructions mid-route, or even steal the identity of the freight company. Others are more brazen; using imitation law enforcement to stop and rob a trailer roadside, or outright hijack a loaded rig.
Still, most incidents of cargo theft committed today occur when the truck and/or trailer is left in an unattended parking location after business hours. Easy pickings.
Cargo theft perpetrated while trucks are in motion is rare, but difficult to predict and prevent. However, one area where logistics companies can improve their defense against cargo theft is protecting unguarded parking location.
Control the Controllables
Unsecured parking locations leave driver, truck, and cargo at risk as thieves gravitate to the easiest target. In addition to targeting high-value goods including pharmaceuticals, precious metals, cigarettes, foodstuffs, and electronics inside a trailer protected only by a padlock, thieves will steal valuable truck parts and supplies such as catalytic converters, tires, and fuel.
The result is lost revenue, missing product, insurance liabilities, and potential downtime of trucks, leading to more lost revenue. Some preventative measures to consider:
Instruct drivers to park only in well-lit parking lots with remote video monitoring. If your distribution center/warehouse/retail loading dock locations where multiple trucks and trailers regularly spend overnight hours are not under live video surveillance, install it.
Plan ahead. Pre-plan and file routes with dispatchers. Avoid high risk areas and try not to deviate from expected paths. Identify secure parking locations along the route where it will be safe for the driver and cargo to overnight, if necessary.
Delivering to a new destination for the first time? Inquire about cargo theft prevention measures in place at the parking location.
Drivers should be trained not to act on unexpected changes to logistics or delivery instructions without confirmation from a trusted source.
Establish protocols for what to do in the event a driver suspects they are being followed by criminals, i.e., ensure all doors are locked, activate the GPS system, call the dispatch office and police immediately, and remain safely in the cabin with the engine running until authorities arrive.
Upon arrival at the parking facility, practice strategic placement and parking of trucks and trailers. Rear trailer doors should abut another trailer or solid wall so the doors cannot open. Side trailer doors should face inward as opposed to fence lines for better visibility. Park trucks with a direct line of sight to video monitoring cameras.
Tint work truck and cabin windows as darkly as local and state requirements will allow to reduce visibility to interior contents. Items that are harder to spot make for less attractive targets.
Titan Remote Video Surveillance and Live Monitoring is the Answer
The common thread running through most of these tactics is the concept of the secure parking location. Fenced, well-lit lots are a great place to start, and the physical presence of guards is a strong deterrent, but around-the-clock patrols can get expensive.
The most comprehensive and cost-effective option for protecting trucks and cargo during pauses in transit is remote video surveillance system combined with live monitoring. That’s what Titan does best.
Titan provides active surveillance, using a combination of high resolution smart cameras equipped with thermal imaging and motion detection sensors and a team of highly trained monitors and dispatchers. This not only records events, it also allows Titan dispatchers to respond to criminal activity in real-time, using deterrence methods such as voice downs, lights, and alarms on strategically placed cameras to prevent theft. Should these measures fail, dispatchers can immediately call in a Titan patrol officer or local law enforcement authorities.
Live camera surveillance provides visibility to areas live guards may not see. Plus, when police receive an alert from a Titan-monitored surveillance system, they know suspicious activity is taking place and that it’s not a false alarm, triggering a rapid response.
Titan’s blended approach to parking lot security brings the proper balance of remote monitoring services, live patrols, and state-of-the-art technology together to protect multiple parking locations for a fraction of the cost of live security guards and deliver better results.
Contact Titan Security to help keep your drivers, trucks, and cargo safe from theft while in transit.