Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How Does A Freight and Logistics Operator Know What He Carries?

US Drugs Smuggling Case Demonstrates Again the Problems of Forwarding
Shipping News Feature

US – It appears that the romantic world of Rock and Roll can sometimes bite back when you are charged with handling the logistics problems of music and media artists as US freight carrier Rock It Cargo has discovered this week. Charges of cocaine trafficking raised against James Rosemond, a senior entertainment executive relate to flight cases regularly transported by the specialist showbusiness freight forwarder.

‘Jimmy’ Rosemond, head of Czar Entertainment, stands accused of a drugs and money swap ring operating from the Los Angeles HQ of Universal’s Interscope Records after his arrest in June and now both Rock It Cargo and Universal Music’s Interscope division have issued press releases both stressing that neither of them were involved in, or aware of any criminal activity. Rock It Cargo said:

"Rock-It Cargo is neither the subject of the investigation, nor implicated in any way. The Company has provided the U.S. Attorney with all of the documentation it has requested. As a global freight forwarding and logistics company, Rock-It Cargo has always been and continues to be strongly committed to maintaining the highest levels of transportation security. With regard to the current investigation, the Company followed all of the government's and its own required procedures and remains in compliance with all Federal and state regulations."

The case reinforces once again the problems which face logistics operators when transporting cargo which they have no business, time or reason to fully examine. In past years we have seen drugs and weapons smuggled in numerous ingenious ways, from inside frozen chickens to the supergun scandal but when, as for Rock It Cargo, consignments are for transport internally (the flight cases were generally shipped from West to East coast) with no crossing of national borders, it is virtually impossible to ascertain a problem without some form of intelligence information.

The problem as always is that when a freight carrier is caught up in this type of case there will always be some, generally outside the industry, who say ‘they must have known’. All that can be done in the defence of such cases is to ensure a documentary system is in place and adhered to with suitable terms and conditions of carriage to protect the carrier as far as possible, plus the introduction of new scanning technology whenever and wherever possible to detect such activities.

Photo: Sorry - We'll use any excuse to use our frozen chicken shot.