It’s important to step back every now and then to consider whether your shipping practices are safe and secure, but nothing puts your current processes under the microscope quite like moving high-value cargo.
Keep in mind there are several types of cargo risk – weather events, mishandled goods, poor packaging and theft can all threaten the safety of your freight and your reputation as a reliable shipper. It’s well worth the effort to implement the following security practices to ensure high-value cargo is transported safely and efficiently, and to maintain trust within your network of partners and customers.
Key 1: Full Visibility into Shipment Location and Status
While there are several benefits to hiring logistics professionals who provide real-time shipment visibility, none compare to the security and peace of mind that quality transport and warehouse management systems afford.
End-to-end supply chain visibility also helps eliminate potential inefficiencies. Both application programming interface (API) and electronic data interface (EDI) systems are essential to building trust between business partners. Choosing software that houses all communications with customers allows shipping updates, urgent messages and invoicing to complement a shipment’s visibility.
Key 2: 24/7 Customer Service Availability
When transporting high-value cargo, it’s critical to establish an open line of communication with your clients. There are a lot of different options for 24/7 customer service: chat, voice, email, in-app and even social media platforms can service your customers’ needs.
Response times are one of the most important aspects to customer service, no matter the type of business. If a customer does have an emergency, they need to be confident in your team’s availability and timely reaction time to a potential crisis.
Key 3: Added Security Measures to Ward Off Theft
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports cargo theft in the United States could cost companies as much as $35 billion per year. Security measures to prevent theft and adequate insurance are essential to moving high-value cargo. Here are four steps you can take to safeguard shipments from potential theft:
- Speed. One of the best ways to prevent theft is to expedite the shipping process. This means implementing the right software to track inventory and get it moving to its final destination. On top of helping to prevent theft, decreasing the time cargo is in transit is another way to build your relationships with your customers.
- Optimal Timing. According to the NICB, most thefts occur on weekdays, with Mondays and Fridays being the busiest days for thieves. While it doesn’t make sense to call these days blackout days for shipping, you can inform employees at every level to keep a more watchful eye.
- Protect Sensitive Cargo Info. Make any and all documentation as generic as possible, and try not to list specific information about the shipper and consignee. It’s also a good idea to limit access to the value of products and any other sensitive information within the shipping company itself. The FBI reports cargo most likely to be targeted by thieves was food and drink, making up almost 19 percent of theft in 2012.
- Give Employees Specific Instructions. From parking details to dedicated trucks, your employees need to know the best way to protect the cargo they are transporting. Take the time to educate your personnel about security threats and how to spot suspicious activity. You can also inform them of the safety measures you have in place within your company that will help support them if they do see something they’re uncomfortable with.
Build Trust Through Security
Using an experienced third-party logistics partner is the best way to keep high value cargo safe. With end-to-end visibility, 24/7 customer support and extensive security protocols, First Call Logistics is prepared to care for high value cargo. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help move your next high value project.