LP Magazine

JAN-FEB 2019

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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BUMPS IN THE ROAD 44 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM "Like in all areas of security, risk is increasingly at the intersection of cyber security and physical security," Pelli said. Some trends, which can seem to have little relationship to cargo theft, are also impacting risk. The nation's clogged roadways are one example. "With traffic increasing around major cities, more retail deliveries are being made to stores in the middle of night so that drivers don't have to contend with traffic," explained John Albrecht, vice president at Transport Security, which has provided locks and other cargo security solutions to retailers for forty years. "And it's tough for retailers to protect at that point. You can't put a fence around it." To secure shipments as they sit unprotected, he suggested that retailers should consider upgrading to tougher locks that have been developed in recent years and are able to withstand the determined efforts of ORC gangs. Another smart solution is to place a tracking unit inside a trailer after it arrives at the store and until it's unloaded, so store staff can receive an alert if it's moved, he said. Shrinking law enforcement resources also pose potential risk. Successful police investigations have been touted as a cause for declining cargo theft rates, but some jurisdictions are now scaling back cargo theft interdiction units. "It depends on the jurisdiction, but in my state, for example, the cargo theft unit is now manned by a single person," said Special Agent Covey. The Bigger Picture The supply chain is infinitely intricate. So risks are, naturally, far more extensive than those inherent in warehousing or transporting cargo within the US. And this broader picture of risk is growing darker, according to Bryan Strawser, principal and CEO at Bryghtpath, a strategic advisory firm specializing in global risk, business continuity, and crisis management. He thinks supply chain risk is growing, a result of a combination of two factors: (a) the increasing complexity of the global supply chain and (b) a substantial shift and growth in geopolitical unrest. "I think LP practitioners need to adopt a very broad view of supply chain risk because executives' concerns transcend the issue of cargo theft," he advised. Strawser, who served Target for nineteen years as senior director for global crisis management, business continuity, and intelligence, sees geopolitical uncertainty impacting today's retail supply chains. "It's everything from the collapse in Venezuela and the nationalizing of assets to the more general instability as it relates to the current state of diplomacy and rise in tariffs—and the risk that these actions lead to more aggressive behavior." The Risk Advisory Group released its Strategic Outlook 2019 in December, and it offers a similar warning. "Across nearly every region, we forecast that authoritarian, right-wing, and nationalist governments and movements will grow in strength and influence," according to the group. For example, it predicts that extreme right-wing groups are likely to grow in strength and influence in Europe during 2019, negatively affecting security, and that authoritarian governments across the Asia Pacific region will pose a risk to stability in 2019 and beyond. Increasing geopolitical competition will make it more difficult to jointly tackle challenges like climate change, environmental degradation, and water scarcity, serving to perpetuate insecurity and instability, limit development, and drive migration. "This feeds a cycle of complex risks that will become even harder to resolve," the group warned. A Call to Action Although fewer retailers report falling victim to cargo theft, respondents to the NRF's 2018 Organized Retail Crime Survey said that inattention to risks to goods in transit is one reason that ORC continues to increase. "Retailers say they often are unable to counteract the problems due to staff shortages, a 'do-nothing' policy, and lowered supply chain security," according to the new report. For some LP departments, assuming a more proactive role in managing supply chain loss will be an easy transition. "I think some organizations have done a good job of LP getting involved, especially those that have developed organized crime task forces," said Smith. For others, it may mean starting from scratch. LP has a history of either not being consulted on matters of The growing importance of cyber security in cargo transport is perhaps most obvious in the rise of autonomous long-haul trucking. Outfitted with sensors and guided by self-driving software, several companies have already announced successful test runs of 18-wheelers across the country. Bryan Strawser

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