Cargo theft is a $15 to $30-billion-dollar problem in the U.S. according to Loss Prevention Magazine. This averages out to one cargo theft every single day of the year and $254,800 loss value per incident. The problem is bigger than the United States. In Canada, cargo theft reached $27 million in 2018.
To tackle this growing problem, the FBI has posted seven task forces around the country. Their efforts are paying off. The task force has recovered more than $1.5 million in stolen cargo in less than a year. However, the FBI says it can't stop these crimes by itself. It requires a partnership with industries and local law enforcement.
Here's a paraphrased version of the FBI definition of cargo theft as it pertains to warehouses. It's the taking of any cargo without permission from a storage facility, vehicle, or depot.
In 2018, thieves stole $33 million dollars' worth of property. Companies recovered only $7 million, or 23 percent of the stolen goods. Businesses, by far, make up the bulk of the victims at 603 out of 703 incidences!
It’s a big problem for warehouses which drives businesses to invest in warehouse security. TMZ reports that burglars stole more than $2 million worth of inventory from famous makeup artist Jeffree Star's warehouse.
In another incident, police arrested four Amazon warehouse employees. They stole Apple products valued at more than $1,000,000 from their fulfillment center.
Here's a warehouse security video of thieves tampering with a trailer. An audio warning does not deter the suspects. Nonetheless, the video operator watching the cameras called law enforcement who arrived at the logistics and distribution center in time to arrest the suspects.
Not only do you have to worry about external theft, but also internal theft. Based on cargo theft statistics and cases, business owners and managers need distribution and logistics security. The price of not having security far exceeds the investment in a security solution.
One of the most effective solutions in terms of cost and prevention is remote video surveillance.
Distribution and logistics security cameras can see far more than onsite security guards. Such a property is vast. The cost of a security guard multiplies for each person hired. Covering the enter perimeter of the warehouse facility would need more than one security guard.
The security guards can patrol the area, but determined criminals know how to get around those patrols. By the time the security guards spot the crime, the suspects could be long gone. The guards might have no way of knowing who did it.
Warehouse security cameras, on the other hand, can capture those suspects in a recording. The cameras can see everything at once including hard-to-access areas like the roof. The human factor still plays a role when someone is watching those cameras. When you combine analytics and human intelligence, it helps ensure the trained operator catches activity before or as it happens.
The people watching the cameras are located somewhere away from the warehouse, out of harm's way. You will not have to worry about them running away when they see something happen. Security guards do not have the same kind of training required of law enforcement. In some cases, guards have no training.
Police trainees undergo hours and months of training. Security guards don't. You can’t be sure they will respond to a dangerous situation the way you want them to respond.
Live video surveillance offers far more benefits aside from being more affordable and effective than security guards. Here are some of the big ones.
Video monitoring can prevent damage and theft. The trained operating monitor observing the cameras can see the suspects approach the property. As soon as they spot them, the operators can issue an audio warning on the speaker system. (If it's integrated into the system.) In some cases, this sends the suspects scurrying away.
In other cases, the suspects keep moving toward their goal of causing damage or stealing something. When this happens, the security operator can call the police and stay on the line for as long as needed. While the police are on their way, the operator can track the suspects with a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera. This lets him or her follow the suspects for as long as they're within the perimeter.
When you catch crime early or before it happens, it can save you a lot of money on repairs and replacement. Insurance does not always come through or fast enough. Sometimes, the situation forces the businesses to temporarily close because the property isn't safe for employees and visitors. You cannot get reimbursed for the cost of lost business due to closure.
If the suspect manages to leave the property before the police arrive, or if an incident occurs during non-monitoring hours, you will have that captured on a recorder. Trained security analysts can review the video and note identifying information. This information can help lead to the suspect's capture.
Video monitoring watches entry points, loading areas, parking areas, cargo on the inside and outside, and equipment. You'll gain peace of mind knowing that a trained operator always has fresh eyes on your property. Unlike security guards who work long hours and tire from the long walks, operators work shifts to avoid fatigue.
If you integrate an access control system with the cameras, you can control who can enter the property. Some parts of the property may have limited access. Access control can manage that too. The cameras watch all the areas where the employees work.
When an employee leaves the company, you don't have to worry about changing the locks. Just delete the employee's access. Limiting access and observing employees can decrease the chances of internal theft.
Employee theft is a bigger problem than most companies realize. A CNBC report reveals that workplace crime costs U.S. companies $50 billion per year. In 2016, internal theft cost businesses an average of $1.13 million.
Why is employee theft so common and expensive? Employees know the security system and its weakest links. Video monitoring can help remove those weak points.
Regardless of how well the business and warehouse operations are doing, management always watches the bottom line. They look for ways to save on costs. Video monitoring yields a fast ROI. For example, the warehouse loses about $5,000 per month due to internal theft.
If monitoring only costs $2,000 and helps prevent these thefts, you'll quickly come out ahead. Yes, even when you include the costs of buying the hardware and setting it up. It takes about nine months to recoup the installation costs.
Remember, you pay for hardware one time. Security guards are an ongoing cost. The only rolling cost with remote video surveillance is the monitoring, which includes the system health check. These cost far less than a security guard.
Video monitoring can cut your insurance premiums. When an insurance company recognizes you've taken extra steps to reduce your risk, they often reward you with a discount on premiums. The amount varies based on the insurance company and plan. Ask your security consultant about this. Some of them may help you work with the insurance company.
This voluntary program, designed in November 2011, is designed to increase security measures and procedures in every aspect of the supply chain. As part of the process, trailers are required to be searched at logistics facilities. This is to ensure everything is on the up and up. Many facilities hire security guards to handle these inspections. This requires the guard to complete thorough searches of the entire trailer.
Problems can arise when the weather takes a turn. Blizzards, blustery winds and pouring rain can impact the guard’s ability to be thorough. There is always a chance guards will simply wave a vehicle through because they don’t want to expose themselves to the elements.
Not so with video surveillance. Trained operators can perform most every aspect of the inspections from the safety and comfort of an off-site monitoring center. An on-site guard my be needed to complete a few small tasks.
The right video monitoring system depends on your needs. An experienced security consultant can design a security system that meets your warehouse's needs.
Requesting a professional security audit is a good start. While video monitoring can do a lot, no security system can work alone. You still want to implement simple, affordable things like fencing and lighting. That's another factor to consider with cameras. Make sure the cameras can see well in day and night.
Ideally, you want to choose a live video monitoring company that has worked with the industrial warehouse and distribution and logistics industry. The industry's security requirements differ from other industries. They understand your biggest threats and vulnerabilities to create a solution to help overcome them.
Stealth Monitoring has worked with logistics and distribution companies throughout North America. You will see a faster return when you work with Stealth. To see what we can do for you, contact us or pick up your free copy of Live Video Monitoring: More Than Just Catching Criminals. For more information about our proactive security solutions, contact us.