Cargo stealing methods evolve at nearly the same rate that security technologies do. Is there foolproof protection currently available? Abloy offers top-notch freight security solutions capable of protecting cargo from the moment it is loaded at the point of origin, during the journey and when it is unloaded at the destination.
In Latin America, freight robbery is one of the toughest challenges for the industry, as it faces huge losses and exposes drivers to kidnapping, a crime in which they make up a large share of the victims.
This criminal trend is due, in some cases, to complex social problems, such as drivers’ excessively low wages, which may predispose them to commit robberies as a way to compensate for low pay.
Also, in countries like Colombia and Mexico, there are well established criminal organisations that finance their operations with the money obtained from these robberies and, if that were not enough, there are drug trafficking cartels disputing territorial control where they prefer uncrowded roads, and can even use the carriers to smuggle their products.
In order to solve this trenchant problem, different solutions have been devised and tested for many years, with a relatively positive impact that only lasts for short periods of time, given that concurrently, the thieves have managed to find ways to circumvent them.
Why do traditional solutions fail to prevent freight theft?
1. Conventional padlocks
These padlocks can be easily opened with methods traditionally used by thieves, such as the use of lock picks or cutting tools.
2. GPS tracking
GPS tracking is a solution that has been in place for many years, which, in theory, allows the location of the load to be known at all times during the journey thanks to the technology of the global positioning system (GPS).
However, there have been cases where the technology has been hacked by the criminals with jammers (priced at about 40 dollars), which are capable of blocking the signal and causing the GPS to lose track of the freight.
Geofences are locks installed in the trailer container, which can only be opened upon reaching its destination; however, they are also vulnerable after blocking the GPS tracking systems and subsequently damaging the operation of the lock.
Many companies use seals, which criminals can easily open with tools sold at any hardware store.
On the other hand, sometimes there is a risk of internal theft of the cargo: they use special machines to replicate the seals, so they open them, extract part of the cargo and then put them back in place to outwit detection. This practice generates losses in merchandise.
5. Recording cameras inside the trailer container
Recording cameras have been installed in trailers to review all the activities within the container, but these cameras have limited autonomy; additionally, the moving truck vibrations and the surrounding dust lower the quality of images or distort them significantly.
Also, these cameras are quite expensive and their monitoring is not very practical, since several operators, over the course of many hours, are required to carry out this tedious and ineffective task.
6. Theft insurance
This insurance covers part of the cost of the freight, but not the total value. In addition, the theft of cargo, even if insured, can generate other problems in the affected companies, such as re-manufacturing the stolen products, or the dissatisfaction of the customers of the freight companies who complain about insufficient security conditions, and therefore decide to turn to other more reliable freight companies.