Cargo theft, as well as truck and trailer theft, is a major concern in Canada’s trucking industry. There are numerous instances where fleets can become easy targets for thieves, including:
- Loaded trailers packed in outdoor areas unattended
- Loaded trailers broken into while sitting in the yard
- Thieves drive off with a whole trailer – come with their own tractor
Warehouses and distribution centers typically have a high level of activity that makes it quite easy for intruders to slip in and out unnoticed. Recent statistics estimate that North America loses over $10 billion each year from such crimes. Canadian carriers handle losses and claims amounting to $1 billion annually.
How to boost security for fleets
With fleet businesses rapidly expanding their businesses in recent years, operational control may become a bit of a challenge. Employees are, in turn, quick to identify any weaknesses in the company’s approach to security and may be enticed to use that information for their own benefit. Most fleet-related crimes occur within the carrier’s property, but these can be dramatically reduced by employing security officers.
Warehouses and distribution centers should consider hiring professional security guards to protect the premises. There are a number of roles that security officers can fill in a fleet business, including:
- Positioning at each entrance/exit gate at all times for centers that operate on a 24/7 basis, or during hours of operation for facilities that don’t operate 24/7
- Making roving patrols around the property, especially at night when there is no activity going on
- Having at least one officer on duty when the facility is closed
Security guards assigned to work in these facilities should have a good understanding of trucking, receiving, and shipping operations, as well as specialized security knowledge. Considering the special skills required for this position, guards should be trained and qualified for posts in fleet management businesses.
Some of the duties performed by security guards include:
- Working closely with fleet management teams in charge of receiving and shipping operations to increase the efficiency of operations and provide good security. This requires a good understanding of the procedures for controlling traffic in or out of the yard area
- Understanding of the traffic management system for security guards stationed at the gate so they are aware of all expected outgoing shipments and deliveries
- Controlling vehicles entering and exiting the yard area. The security guard is expected to stop incoming traffic to confirm that the delivery is expected or legitimate, and then log vital details (company name, driver and vehicle details) before letting it in. A similar procedure is followed for outbound shipments.
Generally, having security guards at your facility will ensure that all people accessing or exiting the property meet the conditions for entry, access to specific areas, or leaving, and there are no suspicious individuals roaming the property to reduce risks of theft.