The rise in cargo theft in Savannah, GA — the fastest-growing U.S. port — prompted topics of theft prevention and best practices at the recent Intermodal Savannah Security Conference. The Southeast Transportation Security Council (SETSC) joined forces with the GBI’s Major Theft Unit and the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics for the free, one-day event that shed some light on how to best combat this growing problem.
With Georgia’s travel logistics and proximity to south Florida, it’s no wonder that the state’s cargo industry is an attractive target for thieves. But it’s important to remember that not all theft comes from outside sources. Conference presenters outlined these and other great tips for setting driver protocols that keep them and your cargo safe.
- Screen all employees well, use random drug testing and don’t give new drivers expensive loads. Have applicants list all vehicles they may drive to work, including license numbers and descriptions.
- Don’t stop within first 200 miles and implement a no-stop policy for drivers making local deliveries.
- If possible, use team drivers. Thieves prefer the easier solo-driver target and are more likely to move on if drivers are paired.
Truck stops and unsecured yards are most vulnerable to would-be thieves, but carrier lots, secured yards and parking lots also have challenges of their own. In considering facility and yard preparation, a layered approach to security is best.
- Conduct regular threat assessments of properties and address weaknesses.
- Install new technology to stay ahead of thieves and respond to every alarm — thieves will test your response time to see if you give up.
- Use a layered security system: sturdy fence with barbed or razor wire, EGD electric fence, flood lighting, cameras, video analytics, audible alarms, warning signs, live monitoring, etc.
Weekends and holidays are high-crime times for cargo. Planning ahead for these times and building relationships with local law enforcement and other industry leaders in the community will greatly help in thwarting cargo theft.
- Notify local law enforcement to request more patrols when facilities are closing for holidays and long weekends. Provide them with emergency numbers, hours of operation and even site access.
- Network and attend joint conferences and seminars to discuss theft trends and stay-up-to-date. You can learn about new security measures as well as what doesn’t work.
- Develop a checklist for security maintenance and assessment, and follow through with inspections, especially before holidays.
Being vigilant and putting in place good practices will help you stay ahead of criminals looking for an easy target. Electric Guard Dog can help. Contact us today for a free site security evaluation.