With the cost of food increasing, cargo theft can pose a serious threat to both the company and the economy. According to the FBI statistics, all forms of cargo theft could be as high as $30 billion in losses each year. Following these eight steps along with advice from the industry experts, can provide helpful information in order to ensure the safety of the drivers and cargo.
1. Audit the Distribution Center
With ongoing efforts of loss prevention, frequently assessing your distribution center is vital to ensure that none of your cargo becomes missing. Internal theft has become one of the biggest problems for most companies in the food industry. By becoming aware of what takes place at the distribution center it will be easier to avert and identify any form of overloading that takes place.
“This is the easiest way that a food company can easily run into a six-figure loss from collusive theft,” says Barry Brandman, president of Danbee Investigations, Midland Park, NJ. “It’s not unusual that once an [employee] begins to steal that they continue and over time you’ll typically find that their theft activity will increase either in frequency or in volume.”
Your company will be more economically sound by making sure you have a solid inventory management system. By openly auditing your distribution center, employees will be less likely to steal. If an employee feels they’re at a high risk of getting caught, most employees will not attempt to steal the cargo.
Investigating shrinkage that may occur in your distribution center should be done in a timely fashion. Waiting too long to investigate your shrink can result in not finding the source of where the shrink occurred. By investigating your shrinkage on a daily basis, internal shrinkage may decrease due to the fear of employees getting caught.
By executing frequent distribution audits, you will be able to weed out of any dishonest employees who may have been involved in collusive theft.
2. Weed Out Dishonest Employees
Screening potential employees is essential in order to obstruct the possibility of internal theft from occurring. One way to accomplish this is to outwardly promote the use of anonymous tip lines. “Tip lines can be effective, but they have to be structured properly,” Danbee’s Brandman recommends.
Effective tip lines include providing complete anonymity. If an employee feels that his voice will be recognized by the person on the receiving end, this will cause him to remain silent in fear of retaliation from a dishonest employee; the inside information will go unheard and the internal theft will persist.
Although anonymous tip lines can be useful, they really shouldn’t be relied on as the primary method of shrinkage detection, says Bill Anderson, group director of security and international safety for Ryder System Inc., Miami. The most useful way to expose shrinkage would be to conduct frequent audits in the distribution center.
One definite way to ensure complete anonymity is to employ an external tip line. “Employees feel much more comfortable speaking with somebody from the other end of the phone that they never met and never will,” says Brandman.
Anonymous tip lines that provide complete anonymity are a great and easy way to prevent internal cargo theft. Along with tip lines, it is also important for a company to engage in external overt surveillances.
3. External Surveillances
Both overt and covert surveillances should be utilized in the warehouse distribution center as well as on company vehicles. These methods help to prevent and spot internal cargo theft. Using security systems such as CCTV on the loading dock, the gates and where the vehicles park is important to have and more importantly, should be checked daily in order to detect any suspicious activities. Alongside the security cameras, there are two methods of overt and covert surveillances: unannounced security audits and external non-covert surveillances.