Author Archives: Doug Griffiths


Promotion for 2018 PCSC Educational Seminar was officially launched yesterday. It will be held at the Novartis Corporate Headquarters in East Hanover, New Jersey on May 15ththrough the 17th. This supply chain security event brings together those within healthcare, as well as folks in other industries and those that support those industries (transportation, insurance, warehousing, brokerage, etc…). Anyone who ships or stores goods can get value from what is presented. Held annually since 2006, this once-a-year supply chain security educational event has always been a popular, interactive instruction, opportunity.

Here is a description of just a few of the sessions in this year’s agenda:

  • Keynote is John Sileo John is the type of individual who is extremely entertaining – while getting his point across in a very meaningful way. He’s spoken on all the major media networks, as well as in front of many Fortune 500 firms, about the importance of Social Engineering. His topic will be: Cracking the Art of Human Hacking and Fraud Training
  •  A deep dive into “Background Checks” – both personal and Corporate. Rob Jones of Cisivewill talk about the background check process as a part of a holistic supply chain security program
  • Crime Forecasting: Steve Longo of CAP Index will talk about the value of crime forecasting, in relation to issues like burglary, theft, and other crimes that could affect the integrity of your supply chain
  • Supply Chain Risk Management Mapping: Jon Sundstrom from Resilinc will talk about, among other things, gaining multi-tier visibility and standardizing risk scoring across suppliers, sites, and products – to identify potential issues within your supply chain and fix them
  • There will be open demonstrations of GPS Tracking Technology. Several GPS vendors have been invited to display their products during a special session – which may include some “outside” demonstrations of how the technology works
  •  Barry Conlon of OverHaul will describe the latest Integrated Technology Advancementsin shipment monitoring – which take overall shipment “tracking” to a whole new level
  • Cargo Theft Case Studies: SAC John Cannon of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will highlight a number of cargo theft investigations he and his unit have conducted (both pharma and non-pharma) to give you an idea of vulnerabilities they have witnessed – to help keep your supply chains secure
  • Cargo theft “Table Top Exercise” Several of you may have heard of this presentation before, as I’ve conducted it for United States Customs, Mexican Customs, and a large number of different trade associations. This is truly an audience participation exercise where we take you through the “behind the scenes” activity when a loss occurs – from a law enforcement prospective; those that track shipments (if GPS technology is being used); what might occur internally within your own organization; and from a regulatory prospective (in the case of pharma). This two-hour session will be conducted on the morning of the last day of the event.
  • Warehousing Security Vulnerabilities From intelligence gathered on previous warehousing burglaries, some points of emphasis to keep your facilities safe and secure
  •  Eleven more just as interesting, and timely, supply chain security sessions…

This is the first seminar under the HDA’s now direction of the Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition. As you know, the PCSC is no longer an “ad hoc” Coalition but now a full-time, staffed, service offering within the Healthcare Distribution Alliance. To support that there will be a small fee associated with attending this year’s event. By obtaining a PCSC membership(Corporate, Service Provider, or Individual) the fee to attend this seminar (and other selected HDA yearly events) would be less. PCSC membership information can be obtained here: As always, membership, as well as attendance to this seminar, is completely free to anyone in law enforcement, government/military service, or academia.

To register for the event see this link: There are also seminar sponsorship opportunities available. Sponsoring the 2018 PCSC Educational Seminar is an effective way to enhance your company’s exposure, build relationships with decision makers, and boost your brand. Cisive, Sensitech, and 7P Solutions have already, graciously, offered to help sponsor this event. For more information about sponsorships contact Lisa Kanfer of the HDA at (703) 885-0270 or

 If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Chuck Forsaith

Senior Director – Healthcare Distribution Alliance

Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition



JERSEY CITY, N.J. – The CargoNet® Command Center logged 1,391 supply chain intelligence events into the CargoNet database in 2017. A total of 741 records involved a cargo theft event in the United States or Canada—one of the safest years ever recorded by CargoNet. The average cargo value per event was $196,109, and an estimated $145 million in cargo was stolen. CargoNet also recorded 1,479 stolen tractors, trailers, or intermodal chassis and containers in the United States and Canada in 2017.

The decrease in cargo theft can be largely attributed to successful law enforcement investigations in 2016. California was one of the states where successful investigations had the biggest impact; cargo theft was down 32% in California compared with 2016. California also has one of the highest concentrations of specialized cargo theft units in the country. Cargo theft events in New Jersey decreased 13% from 2016. We note that New Jersey State Police maintains specialized cargo theft units that work closely with local and county law enforcement agencies. Most of the top five states with the most cargo theft each year had decreases in 2017.
In 2017, 22% of all cargo thefts involved food and beverage items, with more than 100 cargo thefts of this commodity. Cargo thieves stole meat products and both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages the most. However, thefts of food and beverage items decreased from 2016 in favor of household items such as major appliances and tools.

Cargo theft most commonly occurred on weekend days in 2017. Theft was most common on Friday, with 19%, Saturday, with 17%, and Sunday, with 16% of all cargo theft losses in 2017. In 37% of cargo theft cases, the cargo was left unattended for multiple days; and there was no electronic tracking, witnesses, or surveillance to determine the exact day of loss. In the event the exact day of loss is not known, the theft is assumed to have occurred on the first possible day. When we examined events in which the day of theft was known, theft was highest on Sunday, with 17% of losses, and Monday, with 16% of losses. This may not be a fair analysis, because truckers may be more likely just to leave their trucks overnight on Sunday or Monday compared to Friday or Saturday.

Cargo thefts occurred the most at warehouse locations but were closely followed by fenced yards. In 2017, 18% of all cargo theft occurred at a fenced yard location. We do not believe this indicates that fenced yards are more desirable targets, just that it is more common for a yard to be fenced at cargo theft hot spots like industrial areas of most major metropolitan areas.
Available PDFs:
CargoNet 2017 Cargo Theft Trend Analysis


Growing concern about terrorists getting a bomb onto a plane headed for the United States prompted an emergency order requiring stricter scrutiny of air cargo by TSA Administrator David Pekoske. Effective Monday morning, all cargo being loaded onto flights at last point of departure airports in five predominately Muslim countries — Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — will be subject to the new requirements.

“These countries were chosen because of a demonstrated intent by terrorist groups to attack aviation from them,” said a TSA official familiar with the order. “This is all intel driven.”

Last year, these countries were among those subject to the so-called laptop ban that prohibited electronics larger than a cell phone to be carried on in the passenger cabin.

“In close coordination with CBP, I directed specific carriers to implement strict security requirements based upon recent information that established a need to implement additional security measures for air cargo bound to the United States, on both passenger and cargo aircraft,” Pekoske said in a statement to CBS News.

An Etihad Airways aircraft, flight 171 from Abu Dhabi, comes in for a landing at Los Angeles International Airport on March 21, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. From toothpaste to pocket knives, ink cartridges and scissors, the US cabin ban on electronic devices on flights from the Middle East and North Africa adds to a long list of products already blacklisted on international flights.: US-security-aviation-travel

Six airlines — EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Qatar, Saudi, Emirates and viation-travelEtihad — serving the U.S. from seven airports are now required to comply with Air Cargo Advance Screening protocols. Known as ACAS, it is typically a voluntary program, that provides the TSA and Customs and Border Protection with advanced information about all cargo those carriers plan to bring to the United States.

The airports subject to the order include Cairo International Airport in Egypt, Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, King Abdul-Aziz International Airport and King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia, Doha International Airport in Qatar, as well as Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport in the U.A.E.

All cargo loaded on an airplane already undergoes security screening. The new measures will give TSA and CBP specific additional information in advance of cargo being loaded onto a U.S.-bound flight. The carriers will be required to provide details like where a parcel was sent from, who sent it, where it’s been since it was mailed, how it was sent, where its going, and its contents. That is a similar level of “total asset visibility” that comes with a package sent through FedEx or UPS.

“Anomaly detection is the bottom line here,” said a TSA official. “This helps us track those anomalies.”

An example given by officials was someone spending $500 to ship a $100 printer that’s already available in the U.S. from a country with terrorist activity through one of these five countries. Such a package would likely warrant a further inspection.

“Right now everything is screened, but in terms of us having advanced information of everything that’s going on that plane, in a timely manner that’s what’s really new here,” a TSA official said.

Under this order, TSA and CBP can now mandate an air carrier perform secondary inspections of flagged cargo.

“It establishes a 24/7 relationship with those carriers so we can pick up the phone and say we need you to look at this…before the plane is loaded,” the official said.

Turkey is the only other country required to participate in ACAS, an order that followed a failed terror plot to blow up an Australian airliner over the summer. High-grade military explosives were sent by air cargo from Turkey as part of that plot.

The emergency order, referred to by TSA officials as an emergency amendment, builds on continuing concern about a bomb concealed in a large personal electronic device like a laptop that may not be easily detectable by some screening equipment. Intelligence that ISIS had constructed such a device prompted the short lived laptop ban and resulted in a two phased increase of security at foreign airports with direct flights to the U.S.

“We haven’t necessarily seen anything ‘brand new’ in terms of a new threat but we are seeing things and want to stay ahead of the threat that we’ve seen over the past nine months or so. There’s enough out there, enough threat streams, that give us enough concern that we need to move forward with this as quickly as possible,” said a TSA official familiar with the current threat intelligence.

The Trump administration is considering making all air cargo bound for the U.S. subject to these rules. At least 70 percent of that cargo is moved by carriers who voluntarily comply, but the level of compliance can vary.

Available PDFs:
TSA issues emergency order focused on cargo from 5 countries


During this holiday break, be pro-active: confirm that shipment dates/times coincide with your customers’ “open” hours during this holiday time frame. If they don’t, take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of those shipments being staged or stored prior to actual delivery dates.


Steps should be taken to verify the authenticity of all shipment related activity during these periods – particularly any entity which has been engaged to either move or store a shipment. Driver and business verification, prior to releasing any shipment, is paramount.

Communication between drivers and shippers needs to be firmly established and regularly maintained during shipments over these periods. That communication should include driver(s) instruction as to what types of behavior are required and what is not permissible.

Truck stops, highway rest areas and distribution centers are frequent targets for cargo thieves – not only traditionally but more so over holiday periods. For that reason, any location where cargo would either intentionally (or unintentionally) come to rest – even for brief periods of time – should be as secure as possible. Things to consider when selecting a secure area/lot are: controlled access, adequate lighting, congestion, any type of either personal or video surveillance, how long the conveyance will be left unattended, as well as past intelligence of localized cargo theft activity.

If a cargo conveyance must be left unattended for any period of time it should be made as secure as possible. Theft-resistant locking/sealing mechanisms for tractors, trailers and cargo compartments; disabling technology for the vehicle’s power units or trailer movements; parking vehicles and/or cargo compartments in a fashion which make access as difficult as possible – are all things worthy of strong consideration.

If any tracking technology, such as GPS monitoring, that is available for deployment should be used to its fullest extent possible. That would include tracking technology on the conveyance’s power unit, its cargo area (if separate), as well as within the cargo itself.


Conduct a personal inspection of both the outside and inside of your facilities before securing them. Remove/repair anything that would assist a perpetrator in his/her illicit activity. For example: exterior lighting that doesn’t work, gates/doors/windows left unsecured, keys left in forklifts inside, etc…

Prior to securing a facility for unattended periods check to make sure all alarms, CCTV recording equipment, and any sources of auxiliary power are all in good working order. With anything that is battery powered, those batteries should be tested for effectiveness.

Treat all premises alarms (no matter the number or closeness in frequency) as if they are all actual penetration attempts. Responses should be made accordingly.

Make sure all lists of company individuals responsible for contact, in the event of suspicious activity or emergency, are up to date. All entities that monitor your alarm/access activity need to have access to these up-to-date lists.

Encourage local law enforcement agencies to make extra patrols in the areas where your facilities are located – as well as make it as easy as possible for them to “see” your critical access areas.

If you must ship cargo over this period be sure that, in the event the unthinkable happens and your cargo is stolen in-transit, somewhere a shipping list (with complete descriptions of the goods being shipped) is readily accessible and can quickly be provided to law enforcement officials.

Available PDFs:
PCSC Christmas Holiday Alert


To Members of all Industries:

Since the first of November there have been at least four “high-value” cargo thefts that have occurred in the mid-eastern part of the United States – that are worthy to take note of. Three of the thefts involved the same commodity (electronics). All are worth mentioning to everyone who ships – particularly with the Thanksgiving holiday knocking on our doorstep.

In all three of the electronic thefts there was a complete recovery, as all three shipments were actively being tracked using GPS (Sensitech) technology. In each instance the victim, the trucking firm, the GPS service provider, and law enforcement all worked in concert to recover the loads. In the latest two instances PCSC members Bobby Motley (Kentucky State Police) and John Cannon (Georgia State Patrol) and their personnel were instrumental in the shipment recoveries and subsequent investigations. Unfortunately (and this is no fault of law enforcement) no one, at this point, has been taken into custody as of yet.

It’s important to take note of where these occurred and the methods that were used. Those methods mirror what FTL cargo theft victims in the past have routinely seen. Single driver shipments, in three cases over weekend periods, where the driver stops at a truck stop and leaves his vehicle unattended for a brief period of time. The thieves steal the entire rig, attempt to swap out the original tractor, and bring it to another location to let it “sit” – to see if anyone will come for it (essentially to check if a tracking device is active on the tractor, trailer, or inside the shipment).

First weekend in November – State of Ohio (this is all that is available at this time)
November 14th, a Tuesday, Jackson, Georgia. Flying J Travel Center off Interstate 75. Tractor and trailer (apart) were recovered less than a mile from the point of theft
November 19th, a Sunday, truck stop in Hillview (just outside of Shepardsville) Kentucky off Interstate 65. Vehicle was recovered in Portland, Tennessee (truck stop 122 miles south on Interstate 65)

On top of that, this past Friday, November 17th, a full TT load of cosmetics was stolen from a Wal-Mart parking lot near Oxford, North Carolina – off of Interstate 95. The tractor was swapped out by the thieves and recovered a short distance from the actual theft. The trailer and its contents remain at large.

All the LE folks I’ve spoken with over the last 24 hours have marveled at how much of an “uptick” there has been in this type of activity, just in recent months. Most feel these can all be associated with the organized cargo theft gangs that have traditionally operated out of South Florida. After a couple of years of relative calm, things seem to be going back to the way they were some time ago.

We all need to take note of this – no matter what type of commodity you are shipping. If you have anything on the road (this week in particular) share this intelligence with those both monitoring and transporting your loads. Don’t be a victim. Be proactive. Follow the suggestions in the attached correspondence.

If you do suffer a loss get the information to law enforcement as fast as you can. Quick transfer of information, along with an established supply chain security program – that includes the likes of covert GPS tracking – were things that saved those three electronic loads.

Chuck Forsaith

Senior Director Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition

Mobile: 401-623-1344



Available PDFs:
PCSC Alert 2017-111


HDA Adds Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition

PCSC founder Chuck Forsaith will continue to lead coalition and provide information aimed at ensuring the safety and integrity of the supply chain.

By Jim Butschli, Editor

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) added the Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition (PCSC) to its organization. This new service offering will go into full effect Jan. 1, 2018. PCSC’s founder, Chuck Forsaith, will continue to lead the coalition as Senior Director with HDA.

“Promoting pharmaceutical supply chain security is a shared mission of HDA and PCSC. We are thrilled to be bringing on Chuck,” says Perry Fri, Executive Vice President, Industry Relations, Membership and Education, HDA. “Chuck’s expertise, and the resources offered through PCSC, will give our members access to information vital to ensure the continued safety and integrity of the supply chain. We are pleased to welcome Chuck and the current members of PCSC to HDA.”

Founded in 2006, PCSC provides a forum for industry security and logistics professionals to exchange supply chain risk intelligence; network with peers, law enforcement and regulatory officials at all levels of government; and receive information that advances risk management and mitigation capabilities of all stakeholders. PCSC membership is now available to all HDA members.

“I am thrilled that I have been offered an opportunity to operate the PCSC on a full-time basis within HDA — one of the industry’s leading advocates for supply chain security,” says Forsaith. “This partnership will bring immense value to the HDA membership, coalition members and the industry.”

Forsaith has 40 years of experience in the security and law enforcement fields that includes work within the pharmaceutical industry and as a New Hampshire municipal and state police officer.

HDA represents primary pharmaceutical distributors, the link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and more than 200,000 pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. The HDA Research Foundation, HDA’s non-profit charitable foundation, serves the healthcare industry by providing research and education focused on priority healthcare supply chain issues.

HDA’s PCSC offers supply chain security intelligence; access to contacts from industry, government, and vendor trade disciplines; as well as education. Primarily (but not exclusively) focused on the pharmaceutical industry.


Available PDFs:
HDA Adds Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition