Transporting High Value Items
We see it in the movies and it happens in real life. The transport trucks arrives the paperwork is in order, the truck has all the right markings and the cargo is loaded. Guess what? The cargo has just been stolen.
Fake delivery trucks are nothing new and are on the resurgence. Why confront owners when you can just pick it up? Art, jewelry, pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, alcohol, designer cloths, valuable machine parts – are just a stop away. Since much shipping is done via shipping brokers, many a new stealth company can sneak in to the business. One of their hallmarks is low bidding all sorts of jobs to haul expensive cargo. They use the process not only to get some money, but to do their due diligence on where and when the best thefts can occur.
Thieves can print their own credentials, or use the name of carriers that have recently ceased operations. Using multiple names allows them to have multiple opportunities.
High-value goods have always required extra security, and long supply chains, tight delivery schedules and constant pressure on margins and security is usually the first cost cut. After all it’s insured – right?
The 2014 Global Cargo Theft Assessment, by Freight Watch International Cargo Theft in the US is up again with over 60% of the occurrences being fake pickups. In Germany cargo theft is up, but 65% is theft of or theft from the trailer. South East France is one of the most dangerous areas with thefts targeting Haute Couture items of make-up, perfumes, clothing and accessories. In the north of Italy, Food, Drink and Pharmaceuticals are the primary target and in Southern Italy, Food, Tobacco and electronics. In the UK, 69% of thefts were thefts from a trailer. This is a very good study and anyone contemplating the transport of high value items should begin reading this report.
As Graymen, we are involved in the logistics of shipping valuable cargo which means moving our charges about their appointed tasks.
What lessons can we learn from working with our charges to shipping valuable cargo?
The first is a threat based assessment. What are you shipping and who might want the item? As you can see much of the items stolen are easily resold, prescription drugs, tobacco, liquor, designer goods, construction materials etc… In the UK, the threat is to the contents of the trailer, in Mexico they take the whole trailer. Each threat has different defenses.
When moving goods the transit corridors represent the highest probability of theft. In Mexico from Monterrey to Nueva Leon on the US board is a high threat corridor. In France it’s between Nice and the Italian boarder.
If you are concerned that you may have a leak in your organization or in the shipment broker’s office then test it. Spies are not best dealt with by elimination but by using them to feed misinformation and disinformation to the other side. Crates of “High Value Items”, such as crates of miscellaneous precious minerals may only contain rocks. Game the disclosure to see what happens, all systems must be tested.
Another is to ship several vehicles at once and the cargo can be concentrated in one, speared over all or shipped by an entirely different means. You need to figure out what works best.
Take your time, study your risks and use all of the options and techniques available to you as a Graymen to think about how to ship high value items.
This Executive Protection article was written or edited by Baron James Shortt, the Executive