The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies is advising its business clients to install cargo security plans to cover their entire supply chains to reduce exposures to terrorism risks.
“Not a single company can afford to become complacent just because 12 months have passed without a terrorist incident on our soil. One threat to virtually any company’s own financial well-being—and our nation’s safety and economy—is sabotage or theft of expensive or potentially dangerous cargo,” said Barry Tarnef, a global cargo loss control consultant for Chubb Commercial Insurance. “Whether a firm ships chemicals that can be used to produce biological weapons, food or drug products that can be contaminated, or financial instruments, precious metals or expensive electronic devices whose theft could help fund a terrorist operation, care must be taken. Every company has a responsibility to its investors, employees, customers, communities and even the nation-at-large to make sure they have taken appropriate measures to improve the security of their cargo as it moves through the supply chain.”
Tarnef suggested that firms develop a cargo security plan that includes these 10 steps:
1. Perform thorough employee background checks. Carefully screen all new and existing employees who will be involved in any aspect of shipping.
2. Train people on threat awareness. Provide customized training for staff on cargo security, such as hijacking prevention for truck drivers.
3. Work with law enforcement officials. Share your shipping procedures and operations with local police so that they can spot anything out of the ordinary. Also, cooperate with cargo theft task force members in both crime prevention and property recovery efforts.
4. Expedite shipments. Use time-definite transportation services, such as next-day or day delivery, and track shipments in real time over the Internet.
5. Travel door-to-door. Keep shipments moving and avoid, whenever possible, intermediate stops, since when cargo is at rest, it is most at risk.
6. Lock or seal the load. Apply high-quality, barrier-type locks or security seals to trailers and containers.
7. Use tamper-evident measures. Use unique carton tape, banding straps and security seals, so the receiver can easily determine if theft or vandalism has occurred.
8. Develop a unique, consistent load pattern. Always stack cargo the same way and advise the consignee about the pattern so discrepancies can be spotted upon arrival.
9. Encourage timely pick-ups. Encourage your customer to arrange for quick pick up of the shipment, so that it does not have to sit for long periods in warehouses or cargo terminals, and to inspect the shipment at the moment they receive it.
10. Perform random audits. Periodically check each component of the supply chain to ensure it conforms to your plan.
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