Preventing Cargo Theft

Reading ´s post Why is the road transport so expensive?, I wondered which technical systems exist to prevent from theft and pilferage as well as from loss of goods. In the United States an estimated $30 billion in cargo is stolen annually.

Several methods are needed to reduce the danger of being robbed. The problem is that there are many stages criminals can get active, and organized gangs have a lot of tricks. Production sites are one of the first stages where criminals can get active within the supply chain, for example by breaking in the facility or observing trucks being loaded with valuable goods. Therefore distribution centers are a favored spot, because usually many goods are shipped there. Of course outside these seemingly safe areas the streets are potential crime scenes for thieves. Stealing the truck when unattended at a rest stop or paying the driver to “look away” are just some handles to get the desired goods. An unconnected trailer at the side of a street can be hooked up by a truck by criminals within minutes and towed to a “secured location”. These are just some examples, but as you can see there are many situations thieves can get active.

Caused by the economic damage by theft and pilferage some systems have been developed to improve facility and vehicle security. By GPS-tracking a warning system alerts the shipper as soon as a truck leaves a specific area or route.  recently posted about the MAN Telematics System, which is a example for a suitable technology. Of course also physical utilities are suitable. There are locks to secure vehicle and cargo, a kingpin lock to avoid the trailer being stolen, seals to limit intrusion. Camera-systems at transshipment-centers can record every incoming and outgoing shipment. An automated software by BOSCH Security Systems links the scanning action of a good with recorded video-material, so any damage or loss of goods can be tracked.

Cross-linked production

By the usage of light barriers production sites or transshipment centers can be safeguarded. Unauthorized vehicles trigger immediately alarm at the security center. To avoid unauthorized persons entering buildings, RFID-locks only let authorized personnel into security-relevant areas .(

The damages by theft will never disappear, but as criminals are working on new methods to organize robbers, experts constantly work on new methods to fight against that.


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