The latest trend in reality TV focuses on high risk or quirky occupations and has now turned its cameras on the cargo industry. This is depicted in a new show called “Shipping Wars”. In the show various carriers bid on rare or unique loads using nothing more than a laptop or home computer and; as the reality portion of the genre lives up to its name, the lowest bidder gets the job. If the drastically increased interest in this show is any indication, then we should be prepared for an increase in one man transport carriers. The question now remains, what else are the masses learning from this show? Quite often in these episodes as mentioned above, we are seeing the main characters bidding from their laptops anywhere they can receive a wireless signal. They emphasize the ease of not only securing the business, but achieving this with little or no proof of who they actually are. Now, I realize of course that if this was something that was documented it would make the show a lot less exciting; however, you can bet that there will be people using this process as a template and through various algorithms figure out ways around the legalities and authenticity of the necessary paper work. They will find numerous ways to grab the ‘low hanging fruit’ as a result; whether it’s in the shipping yard with a smile or from the highway with a weapon.
There are various proactive steps that are now being utilized to combat this growing problem; as we are all too aware reactionary measures mean we’ve already lost.
Recently a very informative seminar was held in the York Region on February 16th and the 21st which focused on cargo crime as seen through the eyes and opinions of three separate industries. The one phrase that really stood out to me in this seminar and perhaps the most accurate was spoken by York Detective Sergeant Lou Malbeuf “We are forced to do more with less.”
The seminar was primarily attended by security managers of the transportation industry, representatives from the insurance industry, private security experts and law enforcement agents.
The seminar was an eye opening illustration of the monetary losses that occur each year in relation to cargo crime and the wide scope of those affected. Due to the success of these two seminars I’m sure we will see more education sessions on this topic being given.
Here are some of the facts that were revealed:
- The GTA is the largest cargo crime area in Canada
- Cargo crime is increasing and security plans need to be proactively refined
- 10 billion dollars in losses in North America due to cargo crime has been documented
- 5 billion dollars in Canada alone, 1 billion in the GTA
- There is evidence of employee involvement in cargo crime connected to organized crime rings
- Stolen trailers are usually found within 4 km from place of theft
- Identity fraud occurs with misuse of personal information or company and transport documentation
- Sophisticated methods use technology by manipulating documents with logos as an example
- Online everyone looks perfect but don’t take anything at face value – execute due diligence
- Only 1 out of 6 stolen trailers get reported
- Average loss is $200,000 per incident/$150,000 for an armed carrier/less than $10,000 for a bank robbery
- In 2010 the average loss was $471,200 which consisted of: 21% food and drink, 19% electronics, 11% clothing and shoes, 10% building/industrial supplies, 9% home/garden