The freight industry transports hundreds of different materials, from food and fabrics to coal and fertilizers. Most of these materials are valuable, which encourages criminals to go to great lengths to steal goods during transportation. But rest assured, with the help of good fleet management software and its advanced features, there are many ways to keep your cargo safe.
Cargo security measures
Goods are transported through different types of freight pipelines, such as land, air, or water. Regardless of the type of goods, special care should be taken to ensure that they are not damaged during transportation. Packing goods in containers and wrapping them in foam, bubble wrap, or any other material is just one way to keep your goods safe and prevent them from moving around or being tampered with.
The shipping company is responsible for packing and labeling the cargo before departure and is responsible for protecting the cargo from damage or theft.
Here are some tips shippers can take to ensure their shipments are handled safely:
- Use appropriate shipping supplies such as cushioning materials, appropriate lashing, and labeling
- To prevent movement on the road, the goods must be fixed in all directions
- Fill open spaces with a variety of materials such as wood boards, airbags, empty packaging, and foam to minimize weaknesses
- The cargo is secured by special lashing of the top and bottom side rails and corners
- Use a net to secure the goods in place
Living in certain countries where crime is rampant and convoy raids are common can be stressful for fleet managers and transporters.
While cargo theft can happen at any time, criminals often target goods in transit. This is mainly because of the countless unsafe parking spaces and dodgy streets along the way. This is when the cargo is most vulnerable.
The distance between one point and another can also be a factor in attempted theft. The more drivers are on the road, the more tired and less conscious they become, making them easy targets for hijackers. As a result, criminal groups may try to steal goods on stop signs, under bridges, unsafe parking spaces, or deserted quiet streets that drivers least expect.
Fleet managers often use some preferred features to avoid these situations, and geofencing is one of them. This feature allows perimeters to be set around any area or hazardous area that fleet vehicles may pass.
When the vehicle arrives at these locations, an alert is sent and if for some reason, the vehicle does not leave these locations, the fleet manager immediately knows that something is wrong and can act quickly by dispatching emergency personnel to the exact location, hopefully arriving in time to stop the hijacking attempt.
The impact of technology on roads.
As security measures have become more sophisticated and technologically advanced, criminal groups seem to have evolved with the times and started implementing technology in their operations.
Truck hijackings in South Africa have been on the rise for years, and it doesn't seem likely to slow down anytime soon. Last year, Police Minister Bheki Cele reported a massive 31.7 percent increase in truck hijackings nationwide.
"Criminals are now very sophisticated, and they are using signal jammers, diversion tactics, infiltrating teams, extorting and even planting employees to obtain products or assets," said Stan Bezuidenhout, a transportation tactical risk expert, as he shared some insights with Arrival Live.
While all this may seem negative, the hope has not gone away. When criminals become more sophisticated and "specialized" in their craft, technology will always be one step ahead. Fleet management security systems come with certain features such as CarWatch, Protector, AI surveillance cameras, and many others that add another layer of monitoring and security to protect your assets.
Track your shipments
Monitoring the arrival time of drivers is one of the most effective ways for fleet managers to ensure the safety of trucks and cargo. To ensure optimal safety during transportation, tracking companies such as Cartrack offer fleet management solutions to aid day-to-day operations.
While fleet managers do everything they can to keep their fleets safe, transporters also have the tools to manually protect cargo by providing certain features.
Benefits of geofencing:
GEOFENCING PROVIDES LOCATION-BASED SERVICES THAT DEFINE A VIRTUAL PERIMETER AROUND ANY AREA VIA GPS, SUCH AS WAREHOUSES OR EVEN ENTIRE CITIES.
With this feature, fleet managers can:
- Track their vehicles in real-time
- Identify certain events during the trip, such as traveling in an unassigned area
- Send automatic notifications to default geofenced areas and receive alerts when drivers enter or leave high-risk or unassigned areas
- Allows immediate response in the event of theft or hijacking of goods
While geofencing is a huge asset when it comes to fleet safety, it also helps the bottom line of a business. By using this solution, fleet managers will save money that would otherwise be spent replacing or repairing stolen or damaged vehicles.
AI-driven live camera technology:
It is more important than ever for fleet managers to have an extra pair of eyes on the road and a "presence" in each of their fleet vehicles. Managing risk for large fleets can be a daunting task, but LiveVision is a dream tool that gives fleet managers the visibility they need to keep drivers, vehicles, and cargo safe.
LiveVision is Cartrack's AI-powered video surveillance solution that can be used to protect, monitor, and record the activities of your drivers and fleet. The solution can be used for fleet management, fleet tracking, and fleet safety.
Fleet managers can get a complete picture of cargo by streaming the journey live from their laptop or phone, or instantly download footage to view incidents or handle alerts for potential cargo tampering.
International Road Safety Rules
While ensuring that goods arrive safely and unsoundly is a top priority, certain security measures are designed to reduce the chances of theft attempts or road accidents.
A Monash University study on fleet management and safety provides insight into how three different countries are dealing with road safety issues:
- In Germany, the German Traffic Safety Council advocates the creation of volunteer safety circles, where company employees come together to discuss outstanding safety issues and find solutions under the guidance of an expert moderator. They also offer a one-day course on safe, economical, and eco-friendly driving.
- In the UK, the United Kingdom has implemented various strategies to improve road safety within organisations. These strategies are as follows: driver training programs, reward programs, penalties, accident investigations, driver monitoring systems, and driver feedback procedures, among others.
- In South Africa, we have taken a hands-on approach to road and cargo safety agreements. We have fleet management and vehicle recycling companies such as Cartrack that provide training facilities for drivers to better improve their driving skills and driving behaviors, as well as fleet management training to help fleet managers reach higher levels of operational management.
We also offer a wide range of safety features, tailored to every driver and businesses with any number of fleets. These features include Carwatch, protectors, fuel monitoring, geofencing, AI-powered cameras and more than 40 reporting features to continuously monitor the status of vehicles and drivers. With all these insights and tools at your fingertips, the productivity and efficiency levels of your business will only increase.
The ultimate goal of driver and fleet safety
Although countries around the world have taken different approaches to their cargo security agreements, the ultimate goal is to improve road safety for cargo, fleet vehicles and transporters involved in transit.
The implemented cargo security protocols are necessary steps to achieve the following objectives:
- Reduce theft and hijacking attempts
- Vehicle accident prevention
- Enhance driver education, alertness and behavior
- Ready-to-use incident analysis reports
- Reduce operating costs for damaged or stolen items.
Improve and enforce security with Cartrack
Cartrack offers security features specifically designed to protect your drivers, fleet, and cargo from theft, hijacking, or any other possible roadside emergency. Trust us to protect your assets. Visit our website today for a free quote.