LP Magazine

MAR-APR 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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54 MARCH–APRIL 2019 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM continued from page 52 California, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, Georgia, and Illinois. Most cargo theft takes place within the first 250 miles from the point of origin or destination, and two-thirds of it has traditionally occurred on weekends. The risk of theft is changing, however, along with the evolution of cargo delivery. Less-than-full truckload theft now comprises a larger slice of the theft pie. Trucking is becoming more regional as omni-channel matures the value of more numerous, smaller distribution centers that can get products into customer's hands more quickly. So shorter transportation runs are taking up a greater share of the time that cargo is on the road, and midweek thefts are creeping up. It's one reason why a truck driver with a full belly and a full tank of gas are often a cargo load's best friend. Have a Winning Strategy Distance and route planning are only parts of the equation when assessing the risk to cargo in transit. The type of shipment, including its value and exposure (such as whether it's to be transported on an open flatbed truck), should directly impact carrier selection. Do you need a basic carrier with decent insurance and safety programs? Something more? Will the carrier be using subcontractors? Just how many layers are in the transportation network? Carrier selection is a key component of minimizing risk in ground transportation, which includes asking the right questions and critiquing training programs and hiring standards of transportation partners. Properly assessing vulnerabilities requires identifying not only direct risks but also risks to other entities, as well as those caused by the transportation linkages between them. Contracts, too, require review from an LP perspective. Executives can help their companies ensure that carriers don't just have the right insurance coverage but also the right security protocols, that they aren't just available and cheaper but are also appropriately risk adverse. Of course, domestic ground cargo isn't only vulnerable in trucks. There are bridges, including a handful in dominant rail spur areas, that are famous for providing easy access to rail shipments. Seals do often provide some level of deterrence at this point, but at this point the volume of shortages in rail shipments is still both massive and frequently uncounted. Ultimately, however, the impact of last-mile issues might dwarf those from security disruptions in trailer and rail shipments. When customer packages are late or stolen, companies can suffer losses and lose customers. Additionally, the potential for loss due to fraudulent claims of nondelivery can have a material impact on a retailer's business. Today, competition more frequently takes place at the level of distribution, rather than at the level of production, and the winners will be companies that can satisfy the demands of legitimate customers without allowing fraudulent ones to eat away the benefits. Today's supply chain networks are growing in structural complexity. It's making transport and logistics operations more vulnerable to many types of risks, including that of theft in ground transportation. The solutions are, naturally, as varied as the modes of transportation themselves, but they are often best derived in pursuit of common goals: collaboration and visibility. In order to keep better control of cargo shipments, companies have started to implement more layered and collaborative strategies across their networks. Shared visibility allows for appropriate mitigation by all parties, measures that can curb theft risk across transportation networks to the benefit of all stakeholders, from enhancing safety and security for those knights of the highway who crisscross the country on our behalf to helping retail transportation and logistics teams sleep at night—with at least one eye closed. Trucking is becoming more regional as omni-channel matures the value of more numerous, smaller distribution centers that can get products into customer's hands more quickly. So shorter transportation runs are taking up a greater share of the time that cargo is on the road, and midweek thefts are creeping up. It's one reason why a truck driver with a full belly and a full tank of gas are often a cargo load's best friend. Today, competition more frequently takes place at the level of distribution, rather than at the level of production, and the winners will be companies that can satisfy the demands of legitimate customers without allowing fraudulent ones to eat away the benefits.

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