August 29, 2019 | Industry Insights

Labor Day Shipping Awareness

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The Shipping Risks Making Supply Chain Logistics Vulnerable

Everyone looks forward to a long holiday weekend, especially after a busy summer season. Labor Day is just around the corner and while you may be in vacation mode, it’s important that manufacturers and logistics service providers be prepared for the risks associated with the long weekend.

Did you know that in Labor Day weekends between 2014 and 2018, the SensiGuard™ Supply Chain Intelligence Center (SCIC) recorded 2.4 thefts a day? This statistic is 14% higher than the industry average for any other time during the year.


Why is there so much risk for manufacturers and logistics-related organizations during this specific weekend? Organized cargo theft rings are happy to take advantage of the fact that many shipments will be left unattended due to the extension of the weekend. The most affected industries include:

  1. Tobacco (+71%)
  2. Pharmaceuticals (+37%)
  3. Personal Care (+18%)
  4. Home & Garden (+18%)
  5. Electronics (+18%)

These statistics are not meant to scare you, but to inform you of the impending risks for your manufacturing or logistics-related organization. Facility theft can lead to hundreds of thousands of lost value.


How to Protect Your Shipments This Holiday Weekend 

Luckily, there is still time to prevent some of this Labor Day theft and avoid becoming one of the horrible statistics. The SensiGuard SCIC recommends that logistics and security professionals increase or test all security protocols to make sure everything is in-line with best practices for in-transit and warehouse operations.

Other ways your business can work to diminish any potential criminal attempts this time of year include:

  1. Confirm your receiver’s hours of operation for the holiday weekend
  2. Plan for secure parking locations in the event that a shipment will be left unattended for a longer period of time
  3. Invest in GPS tracking and active monitoring of your high-value shipments

Not only will these measures help to mitigate potential threats, but in some cases, they have also been proven effective in helping to facilitate the successful recovery of stolen merchandise.


Important Information for Transportation and Storage Facilities

In order to take all measures to prevent cargo theft rings from successfully stealing shipments, the following guidelines have been released and endorsed by IMUA, PCSC, Travelers Insurance, SWTSC, SETSC, NETSC, the Cargo Security Alliance, and Sensitech.

For Transportation:

  1. Verify the authenticity of all shipment-related activity throughout Labor Day weekend – this includes driver and business verification before ever releasing any shipment.
  2. Ensure there are clear and open lines of communication between drivers and shippers to confirm details, provide instructions and explain what behaviors are expected.
  3. As always, truck stops and rest areas are major targets for theft. Keep things secure and highly visible when stopping, even if for a brief period of time.
  4. Invest in additional precautions including theft-resistant locking mechanisms, disabling technology from power units and adding tracking technology, such as GPS monitoring, if possible.

For Storage Facilities:

  1. Before the holiday weekend, do a personal inspection of the entire facility and look for any potential security vulnerabilities. Check all cameras on the property, alarms, outdoor lights, and fencing.
  2. Treat any alarms or alerts as real potential threats. Don’t assume anything is a malfunction or fluke. And have an up-to-date list of all contacts in case of an emergency or potential break-in attempt.
  3. Try to enlist the help of local law enforcement to make extra visits and scans of the area, especially during off-hours.

If all safety measures fail and you are targeted and hit with a theft it is imperative that you act fast. Cyndee Garbrecth, VP of Claims Administration for Roanoke Claims Services advises:

“Call the police and report the theft. Simultaneously, let us know as soon as you know. The notice can be as simple as an email to our claims  team describing your situation. The faster we are made aware of the loss the quicker “boots on the ground” can get on the trail of your missing cargo. We have a network of investigators around the country who we can access for investigative and recovery work.“

While the holiday weekend is meant to be a time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends, the only way you can really do that is to ensure your business shipments are safe and secure. Take measures to prevent theft and to spread awareness to other manufacturers and logistics-related organizations within your industry.

The facts, figures, and recommendations herein are provided courtesy of the SensiGuard™ Supply Chain Intelligence Center (SCIC).

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