Two cargo handlers were arrested at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for stealing four gold bars worth around $224,000. The men worked for a cargo handling firm that provides services for the airport.
The gold, part of a 2,000-bar shipment from a Canadian bank, was removed from the plane during a layover at LAX and then secured. During an inventory check, a box of 25 bars was missing. One of the handlers accused of the theft had allegedly discovered the missing box and removed four bars. Authorities investigating the case were able to recover the gold within a two-week time frame.
According to a report on global cargo theft, the greatest threat comes from organizations that recruit employees from the companies they are targeting. These employees often have access to cargo and delivery information, as well as computer data.
The global pandemic only exacerbated the problem. Warehouses and transportation companies have had to speed up the hiring process due to the increased amount of freight moving back and forth. That meant poorly conducted background checks, or none at all.
Additionally, many people were laid off or furloughed after COVID hit, leaving them searching for ways to make money. Desperation can drive people to do things they wouldn’t normally do.
To help combat theft, many warehouses and distribution facilities hire security guards to protect their inventory. Often, the guards are posted at the entrance of the facility to check credentials of the truck drivers entering the property. However, this can elicit more problems.
Guards have access to copies of important documents and credentials such as a driver's license and information from clients and vendors. What are they doing with this sensitive information? Are they leaving it lying around for potential identity theft?
Knowing the guards have access to the property as well as important documents, criminals often attempt to involve them in their illegal activities. A threat of violence or a promise to share proceeds from the crime may be all that convinces the guard to help.
Not only can guards become a threat and a liability, but their salaries can also be enough for some facilities to look for a better, more cost-effective security solution.
Live video monitoring can perform nearly all the same tasks a guard can, but for up to 60 percent less cost. Trained operators watch the property in real time from a remote location. When they spot a problem, they can call law enforcement. They relay relevant information to police and stay in touch for as long as needed. Some properties opt to include an audio warning system that lets the monitoring operators alert the criminals they are being watched. It adds another layer of security. Some suspects take off without stealing or doing damage when they hear a voice on the speaker.
The security cameras can also scan delivery trucks for identification information. As the truck driver pulls in, the specialist will ask for information and confirm it. Once the driver passes all inspections, the specialist remotely opens the gate. This entire process is contactless.
What about Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) inspections? Video cameras can do everything including verifying the driver's credentials, capturing the driver's face, recording the license plates and vehicle number, and providing time-stamped footage for reports.
The only thing a guard will be needed for is to examine the trailer and check the seals. This is helpful during colder months. The trained operators watching the monitors handle the paperwork and identification. The security guard only needs to come out for the inspection. They're more likely to do a thorough examination of the trailer and check the seals when the video cameras can handle most of the tasks. Then, return inside where it's warm.
Supply chain security is more crucial than ever. If you would like more information about a proactive security solution for your business, get your free copy of The Effects of Crime on the Transportation Industry or contact us.