Between January 1, 2022, and August 9, 2023, there were at least 24,926 thefts of cargo transported by trucks. That’s how many cases were reported to the Transported Asset Protection Association’s EMEA (Europe + Middle East + Africa) organization, which monitors the issue of supply chain security in this area. We outline practices worth implementing to enhance the security of transported cargo.
The role of the human factor in freight transportation
In creating the security of cargo transported by road means, the people involved also play a significant role. Loss or damage to cargo results from human errors, which occur due to the ignorance or carelessness of drivers. These may include:
- failure to comply with traffic regulations,
- conducting parking in unguarded parking lots,
- leaving a car with cargo unattended,
- improperly securing the cargo for the duration of transport.
While much here depends on selecting employees with the right qualifications, regular training in safe practices can improve the situation. It’s an excellent way to update and systematize knowledge on effectively protecting cargo during transport.
Safety requirements for the vehicle
The primary requirement affecting the safety of the supply chain carried out by road transport is the selection of the right fleet. Vehicles must meet technical needs and undergo regular inspections that confirm their ability to continue driving. This lowers the risk of a breakdown that could lead to a delay and put the transported cargo at risk.
The role of intelligent technological solutions that increase the safety of the cargo and the entire vehicle cannot be underestimated. We are talking, for example, about built-in GPS, GSM, RFID, and BT modules, allowing real-time monitoring of the warehouse’s location 24/7 – regardless of where it is.
There are also even more modern solutions at the disposal of road transport investors, such as electronic seals, which effectively block third-party access to the cargo on the trailer. Once it is armed, any unauthorized opening or even an attempt at it will immediately activate the alarm signal. This means a chance to react quickly after a theft and even to deter a potential thief.
Even the most modern technological solutions will only be helpful if the human factor fails – if thieves force their way into the tractor cab and force the driver to open the trailer. However, this will be prevented by automatic systems that prevent unauthorized entry.
In cargo security, it is also worth paying attention to solutions that support loading and unloading without fear of damage. To this end, ensuring that the car is equipped with all the necessary accessories is essential. To secure the goods for transport, you can reach for supplements that help stabilize them in motion so they do not move when the car turns. Anti-skid mats and spreader bars, among others, can be used for this purpose.
A good plan will save problems
Much also depends on how the process of transporting goods by car is planned. Particular attention should be paid to planning the route of the trip optimally, taking into account any obstacles that may occur along the way. It is also essential to remember the needs of the driver, who should have guarded parking lots available for a safe break in the case of a long route.
However, more than one plan is needed. To avoid problems when it is necessary to change them, it is worth anticipating possible failures and having ready solutions for various eventualities. Pre-designed contingency plans that include optional routes will help.
However, the supply chain plan must focus more than just technical aspects. It is equally important to familiarize drivers with procedures for responding to emergencies, such as vehicle breakdowns, bumps, or cargo theft. Introducing staff to the plan in advance will speed up response time when such an event occurs. This, in turn, will translate into the ability to take quick action to limit losses.
No matter how valuable cargo enters the supply chain, precautions must be taken in providing information about it. Maintaining confidentiality by all those involved in the process guarantees that no one will learn about what is being transported – especially professionals who could carry out a successful theft attempt.
Implementing the practices mentioned above will undoubtedly help improve the security of cargo transported by truck fleet. It may also be a good idea to organize the entire process with the help of professionals, such as the transportation and logistics company AsstrA.