Cargo Security on Ice

Late last month brought law enforcement officers and transportation companies together to discuss the important topic of cargo security. Braving the frozen roads of the DFW area, we all turned out to hear about the latest efforts to make transporting valuable products safe and secure. The annual event was held at the BNSF Training Center in Fort Worth, Texas and is put together by the Southwest Transportation Security Council (SWTSC). The group was formed in 1999 to enable better communication and cooperation between law enforcement and the transportation industry. Subject matter ranged from how to better use existing internet resources to aid in cargo theft investigations to how companies are using technology such as GPS tracking to aid in prevention and retrieval.

Although the focus of the summit was around theft in general there are many other problems the industry faces such as underutilization, environmental compliance, and spoilage. All of these problems translate into a very real loss of revenue. Many of the attendees I spoke to were concerned about all of these issues and how they could limit or eliminate their threat to the supply chain. So how can technologies like Track and Trace make the world of logistics a better place? It starts with location, but then evolves into so much more. For instance, a company transporting hazardous materials might need to know when a container of waste has been at a temporary storage facility for more than ten days, as this could lead to fines.

The second day brought several speakers from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and local law enforcement. Ruben Sanchez, the Director of Security at Swift Transportation, discussed methods they have put in place and Matt Balsy, Manager at ALC Logistics, spoke on load boards and industry resources. The event ended with Detective Ivette Haley of the Fort Worth Police, Discussing Law Enforcement resources and how they can aid in capturing the would-be thief. Despite the frosty weather, the event was well attended. This was my second time attending and one thing hasn’t changed; Cargo theft is a massive problem and the SWTSC is determined to solve it.