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Securing The Transport Industry

Transport security services is a broad term that covers a number of different areas. The transport sector is a high-value target for many criminals and criminal gangs, as it involves the movement of large amounts of money, important documents and high-value goods. 

Businesses that rely on road transport vehicles to transport their goods are at a high risk of losing valuable inventory, which can impact their bottom line. Additionally, this type of crime can cause disruptions to supply chains and delivery schedules, as well as increased costs for insurance and security measures.

In this blog post from Titan Security, we take an in-depth look at transport security including

  • Identifying the main problems and risk factors
  • Discussing a strategic approach to transport security measures
  • Describing the transport security solutions offered by Titan
  • Listing some tips and tricks to improve transport security many of which do not involve much in the way of costs

Transport security risk factors

The most common type of transport security breach is theft or loss of cargo or products during transit. This can happen when goods are being moved by road or rail between depots or distribution centres and stores, or even when they are being transported across oceans by boat or plane. 

Theft also occurs when products are being delivered directly to shops and businesses including important documents, valuable antiques and jewellery or large sums of cash. In these cases, it is important to either provide a security escort or use a company that provides secure and armoured vehicles.

The largest perpetrators of theft from the transportation supply chain are highly organised criminal gangs.

So lets go through the main risks in more detail

Theft and hijacking

There have been several high-profile incidents around the world in recent years that have highlighted the need for robust transport security measures: Cargo transport in various forms is targeted by highly organised criminal gangs. Protecting valuables or goods in transit is something that is becoming increasingly difficult as the risk of theft from trucks, vans, security containers and other secure storage and transport systems increases year after year. 

Hijacking of goods vehicles by criminal gangs sometimes involves violence (197 recorded European violent cargo theft incidents in 2021) 

Theft from panel vans

Theft from heavy goods vehicles is big business for criminals but smaller transport like the traditional white panel van is not immune from danger either. Vans are likely to contain valuable tools, high-value retail goods or specialist products such as pharmaceuticals that can be resold on the black market. They are often parked in less secure areas than trucks and contain lighter, easily transportable volumes. 

Clandestine stowaways

Clandestine entry to goods vehicles has become a substantial threat posed by a constant stream of migrants flowing into Europe from war-torn countries. Periodically throughout 2021 and 2020, areas near the Port of Calais in northern France experienced congestion due to Brexit-related changes to rules and requirements for crossing the border to and from the United Kingdom. 

Migrants often waited along highways or rest areas and parking lots in the area hoping for an opportunity to stowaway onto the trucks waiting in these queues to cross the English Channel.

In December 2021, regional authorities closed parking zones and rest areas in the Nortkerque area of Calais due to the problems created by people looking to stowaway onboard goods vehicles. 

Phantom carriers

The criminals will offer a very reasonable transportation quote, provide a contract and vehicle registration number. Once it’s agreed upon, he or she will pick up the shipment from its origin.

A short time after the load is supposed to have been delivered, a phone call comes in from one of these companies claiming that there’s been an accident or flat tyre and the cargo has not made it there. The customer accepts this excuse and unknowingly gives the fake company enough time to steal their goods.

Once the customer receives this notice, he or she will not receive any further contact from the fake carrier. All communication devices and records associated with that account will have been rendered unusable by destroying them (this may include physical tampering or software “kill”).

Increasing idle times 

Throughout Europe, continuing high levels of cargo thefts and stowaway introduction are two issues closely linked to the pressures created by increased congestion and longer idle times.

With the UK exit from the European Union increased border friction due to the need for more checks has resulted in a slow down of vehicle processing.

Theft of fuel

With fuel prices rocketing for various reasons, diesel has become a form of liquid gold. With possibly 100 gallons in the tank, an HGV represents rich pickings for criminals on the hunt for opportunities to obtain free fuel by stealing it.

The Statistics

Stealing from goods vehicles is an increasing trend across the UK, with the stats saying that it’s on the rise by around 20% year-on-year. Although acknowledged to be under-reported, the known facts state that there was £19 million of goods stolen in 2014 to 2015 and around £23 million from 2015 to 2016.

This works out to around one million pounds worth of goods stolen every month. With more deliveries happening than ever before as the world recovers from Covid 19. there are also more opportunities for someone to steal from you! 

BSI, TT Club and TAPA EMEA the Transport Asset Protection Association have previously noted that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 a growing number of thefts from facilities and, most notably, from trucks loaded with cargo and parked outside of parking facilities and ferry ports have been occurring. 

The table below represents the increase in road freight across the EU between 2019 and 2021 as Covid restrictions eased. Greece and Slovakia were the only countries to experience negative growth while Poland and Bulgaria exprienced substantial increases.

Solving transport security issues

Security measures can take a number of different forms, from physical barriers and electronic monitoring systems to security escorting. Physical barriers include bollards and fences, which are used to prevent general access to sensitive areas like loading bays as well as restricting access to vehicles themselves. 

The use of secure warehouses and site storage is essential for businesses to reduce the risk that their valuables will end up in the hands of opportunistic thieves. But what are the security threats when your goods are at their most vulnerable out on the road and where are they most likely to come from? 

So let’s now have a look at how Titan Security Europe can help you and examine some general tips and techniques that you can use to make sure your goods are kept safe

What we offer

Titan Security Europe provides goods in transit security to clients throughout the UK and Europe. We offer a comprehensive range of electronic and physical protection services including vehicle tracking, locksmiths, signal jamming/tracking, and security guard escorting. We work closely with all partner agencies including road haulage, banks, insurance companies, and statutory authorities.

Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) security from warehouse to destination

From using security guards to oversee warehouse and loading bay security to escorting valuable loads and deploying vehicle tracking and global positioning technology, we provide you with peace of mind that your goods are safe.

Renowned as experts and specialists in the transportation security industry, our theft prevention services for vehicle transits of valuable loads from the warehouse to the destination are second to none.

We employ a team of security specialists to undertake strategy and planning as well as professional security guards who are specifically trained to ensure that your goods are under our protection at all times. We can work with your own staff or we can provide the complete service.  All guards are CRB checked, SIA licenced,  police vetted and fully trained in personal protection and emergency first aid.

Secure transport for VIPs, executives and high-profile clients

Secure transportation is a vital part of our VIP security service. We have highly trained close protection security personnel and a fleet of secure and armoured vehicles available for escorting and transportation of VIPs. We can provide everything from airport pick-ups and transportation to red carpet and public events, right through to personal round-the-clock secure transportation and security chauffeuring on a permanent or semi-permanent basis.

Secure courier transportation for cash, documents and valuable smaller items

As well as our standard manned security guarding services we are also able to provide secure transportation for cash, sensitive documents and high-value items for the finance and banking industry and a range of commercial enterprises. This might include pre-scheduled cash pickup from ATMs, secure delivery of inter-office documents and person-to-person delivery of jewellery and other valuable items.

We often employ fully-vetted and highly-trained ex-military and service personnel for their relevant training and experience. We would also make sure that these services are provided by 2-man teams as a minimum. Our staff are trained to make sure high-value deliveries arrive at the correct destination and that they are handed over to the right person with checked and verified identification.

We are always able to adapt to the situation and the needs of our clients. We can provide armoured security vehicles with uniformed guards as a visible deterrent or plain clothes guards for discreet escorting.

Transport security services – strategy and planning

  • Route planning
  • Scheduling stops for rest and refuelling
  • Port facilities and border crossing points
  • Registered secure parking facility locations
  • Driver teams to minimise rest stops
  • Vehicle tracking measures
  • Security guard escorts

Valuable cargoes are at their most vulnerable when they leave one secure facility and transit via the road network to a delivery destination. Depending on the type of goods in transit, it is not unusual for a large Heavy Goods Vehicle to be carrying a load valued in excess of a million pounds. No wonder then, that they are a tempting prospect for professional criminals.

On a long haul across the UK or the continent of Europe, a lorry will need to stop several times for different reasons. Refuelling, rest breaks, queues for border checks are just some. When a vehicle is at a standstill it is more vulnerable than when it is travelling. Even when travelling, it is not unknown for criminals to use aggressive tactics to stop or slow the vehicle and attempt a hijacking.

Our goal is to be the company of choice for affordable, high-quality transport security services. In order to achieve this, we continually measure and exceed customer satisfaction levels through customer service-driven performance monitoring. For more than 20 years we have helped keep valuable loads, important documents and large sums of cash secure as they are transported across Europe and throughout the UK. 

Security guard services throughout Europe.

We work with clients of all sizes providing tailored solutions to meet your security needs. Contact us today for a free quotation.

9 Important transport security services measures

Employee policy and procedures

When shipping volumes are high, it’s important to have a plan in place to increase security measures. All employees should be aware of and trained in the latest security procedures. This will help ensure that your shipments go off without a hitch. If possible, avoid letting information about what is being transported become common knowledge. 

Drivers should be carefully selected and signed up to a confidentiality agreement as in many cases it is important that they know what is being carried as well as its value. This will reduce the risk of someone finding out about the contents before they reach their destination, which could lead them to target your goods.

Tracking the goods

The first step in preparing for transport is to ensure that you have a good record of the goods being transported and their value. This will help you when you are making arrangements for insurance and also means that if something goes wrong, you can prove what was carried and who it belonged to. Electronic monitoring systems include CCTV cameras and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, which monitor the location and condition of vehicles at all times and are an important security measure.

Vehicle tracking can help to improve transport security by providing real-time data on the location of vehicles. This information can be used to help track down stolen vehicles, or to monitor the movements of vehicles in areas of high risk. In addition, vehicle tracking can also help to improve the efficiency of transportation operations by providing data on traffic patterns and congestion.

By monitoring the movements of vehicles, it can help to identify patterns of criminal activity and target resources more effectively. In some cases, vehicle tracking data may even be able to provide evidence that can be used in court proceedings.

Onboard CCTV

With the advent of global coverage and high-speed mobile internet, monitoring your cargo using CCTV has become a whole lot easier. Having CCTV installed on board your vehicle can help deter thieves from targeting your load as well as providing evidence if they do. You could get a system that includes remote monitoring either using a security company central monitoring service or a monitoring display installed in your office so that you can view what’s going on.

If your vehicle is at risk of being tampered with while it’s parked or even if it is hijacked when on the move, installing CCTV cameras inside and outside of the vehicle can help by providing an early warning that a crime is in progress as well as gathering evidence that helps to identify the perpetrators.

GPS tracking

If you’re transporting valuable smaller loads like antiques, cash or jewellery, it’s important to know their location at all times. This can be done by using GPS tracking devices fitted inside the delivery vehicle. You can then get an advanced warning if the vehicle is stopped for any length of time outside of the normal schedule. 

RFID tracking

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is an alternative to GPS, which provides continuous tracking from point to point. RFID systems track vehicles by identifying and recording them as they pass through a checkpoint with an RFID reader installed. RFID has advantages over GPS (including automatic identification and no need for line-of-sight between source and receiver) but many companies use a combination of the two systems.

If you are delivering a high-value shipment, then tracking devices could be used in conjunction with other security measures including security escorting and a range of physical locking measures.

Alarm systems

Alarm systems with door-opening contacts and proximity sensors work well with sealed containers but present some issues with curtain-sided trailers. Alarms that work by sensing movement, changes in air pressure or motion are less effective and more likely to give a false alarm due to operating in unstable environmental conditions.

Transport security services vehicle escorting

At Titan Security we can provide a secure escort in 2 different ways. Either as a high visibility deterrent using a marked security car, or if something a little more discreet best suits the task in hand, an unmarked escort vehicle with plain clothes security personnel on board. We have vehicles available with or without armour.

Our security officers accompanying valuable cargo will all be managed from a central location with constant 2-way communication plus the latest in GPRS technology for tracking and pinpointing their exact location.

We are normally able to escort across borders without issue but in cases where we are unable to cross a border; for example, if providing an armed escort, we would arrange for the cargo to be met by in-country personnel on the other side of the border.

Security guards

Security guards employed to work on transport security services have a unique set of duties, including both traditional crime prevention and response as well as coordination with other members of the transportation team ensuring that all safety and security procedures are followed correctly.  They work with other team members to monitor shipments for compliance with regulations, inspect vehicles and equipment for potential hazards, investigate any incidents that occur during transport—and take appropriate action if required. Transport companies must carefully select their security providers in order to ensure that they are able to protect their high-value loads effectively. 

Sealable containers 

Due to the need for operational efficiency curtain-sided vehicles are still popular. But it goes without saying that they are much less secure. If you need the loading efficiency of a curtain-sided vehicle there are reinforced or slash-proof versions available that you should consider. Making sure that loads are securely contained is an important measure against potential theft. Lockable steel containers are always going to be more secure than curtains that can be slit open with a sharp knife. If the trailer is not secure you should consider transporting the goods in secure sealable containers and tamper-proof packaging before loading them onto transport. 

Partnering with Titan for transport security services

If you are looking for a reliable and highly experienced transport security services company for your secure transportation requirements, then look no further than Titan. Our experience in the industry goes back decades and we have testimonials and references from authorities, international companies and large and small enterprises to back it up.

At Titan Security we adhere to the highest security standards with a full range of customer-led transport security services developed over 3 decades of providing premium transport security services.

As an equal opportunities employer, our commitment to the highest levels of training and development for our transport security services personnel is second to none. If you take on Titan Security to do a job large or small, you can rest assured that the job will get done and get done well.

To learn more about what we do and the full range of security services we provide visit our home page now.

You can also get in touch with one of our transport security services experts using the contact form on our transport security service page, or call us direct on +441803 446004. An initial security consultation is free and without further obligation.