US – Cargo theft is the bête noir of the freight trucking industry and a problem which becomes ever more prevalent as the economy declines. According to FreightWatch’s 2011 Annual Report, the overall number of stolen freight incidents that occurred throughout the U.S. increased by 8.3% last year and yet Schneider National, which provides road haulage, intermodal and logistics services, reported a 35% drop in cargo theft rates, the largest drop in the company’s history to date.
Schneider say the increasing level of reporting such incidents has helped by providing the vital data needed to tighten security in the transportation industry and the company’s director of Loss Prevention and Enterprise Security, Walter Fountain, CPP, CCSP and the current chairman of the American Trucking Associations’ Supply Chain Security and Loss Prevention Council is in no doubt as to what the secret behind Schneider’s success is, saying:
“The number-one theft countermeasure is communication. By understanding the ins and outs of the freight we’re shipping and how we engineer the loads, we are able to drastically alleviate risk as a fully synchronized team with our customer. There are really three legs to this: we address expectations during onboarding; we regularly communicate the locations and types of thefts that are occurring; and we incorporate cargo theft preventable measures into our quarterly training sessions. We’ve (also) seen a combination of high-tech and low-tech security measures working together make a significant difference when it comes to freight security.”
Schneider believe that this multi layered approach with attention paid to every facet of the movement of freight is essential to keep crime rates falling, something the Green Bay, Wisconsin headquartered carrier has achieved now for five straight years bucking the industry trend. The company believes in proactive communication for the entire length of the supply chain from shippers through delivery drivers to consignees with the addition of modern technological aids wherever possible.
The company insists that drivers and owner drivers must be educated and prepared to be aware of the multiple risks to freight as it passes through the system and the use of new security products, satellite tracking on tractors, trailers and containers, 24/7 security monitoring, and high-security locks and seals on loads are all part of Schneider’s approach to security. Meanwhile the group keeps abreast of the latest trends in the war against thieves by studying reports from industry professional bodies such as FreightWatch, CargoNet, and the Supply Chain-Information Sharing and Analysis Center (SC-ISAC).
These up to date records show that there has been a recent 61% jump in the number of holiday period thefts, traditionally a strong area of concern for shippers and carriers. Electronic goods thefts, although decreasing, still prove a principal target for criminals with almost 20% of truck crime in this sector. Improved security has reduced the theft of pharmaceuticals, another prime target, considerably against previous years.
Schneider’s efforts to upgrade its security have yielded tangible results and earned recognition by the company’s continued inclusion and high ranking in Security Magazine’s “500 Top Security Organizations” list. Security Magazine has developed this annual list (which ranks top corporate, commercial, institutional and government security operations) since 2006. For the second year in a row, Schneider ranked in the top 10 in the Transportation, Logistics, Supply Chain, Distribution and Warehousing category. The magazine computed its results on the basis of survey data and research of the most intense industries and organizations facing significant risk and requiring aggressive risk mitigation strategies.