Logistics in drug trafficking organizations

Reading Juan’s post “The dark side of logistics”, I remembered something I read some months ago in a book called “Zero Zero Zero”, from Roberto Saviano, related to logistics in drug trafficking.


Drug trafficking organizations are getting more and more professionals, as a matter of fact important capos and drug dealers are sending their children to the best business schools in the world, so once they inherit the business take care of it applying what they learn in theses schools.

One of the areas where these organizations are looking for more improvement is Logistics, as the greater risk of drug trafficking operations take place in overseas transportation and in the entrance of the destiny countries. This have generated the figure of the Logistics manager or “Doctor Travel”, the responsible of planning these steps and the problems that can appear. The biggest challenges this figure have to face to are two:

-The gamma rays systems: most of the common destinations of drugs shipments are equipped with these systems, which can scan the containers and detect contents as drugs or weapons.

-Choose the indicated container: the Logistics manager has to predict which containers will be scanned and which will be not, because customs controls doesn’t have the time to check them all. As perishable products can’t wait for long in customs, the containers with products as fruits or vegetables are frequently allowed to pass first without being scanned, so it can look like the indicated containers. On the other hand, law enforcements are aware of that, so they can put more attention to them.


This is probably the main difference with the equivalent job in a legal organization: the main objective is not the time for the “Doctor Travel”, but to ensure that the shipload arrived to its destiny without being detected. Also, meanwhile a headmaster of a logistics department in a big company has to keep up on the last improvements to increase efficiency on his company, the Doctor Travel has to do it with the last customs and law enforcements news, to be able to avoid them.

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