Author Archives: wbeadling

Cargo theft in transit drops to 71% but still a dominant threat

The most significant trend highlighted by the Annual Cargo Theft report for 2020 is the relative shift in the location of thefts, with in-transit incidents and those involving vehicles showing a decline at 71 per cent compared to 87 per cent in 2019, though remaining the most dominant threat, and theft from storage facilities increasing to 25 per cent. The extent of the rise in the latter was variable from region to region, however this trend was reflective of the disruption to supply chains brought about by radical changes to consumer buying patterns as a consequence of the pandemic.

Cargo theft in transit drops to 71 percent but still a dominant threat

Securing the Silk Road: Shipping Sensitive IP into China

Podcast describing a project wherein a CSA client shipped sensitive, high value IT equipment to, and within, the People’s Republic China.  The client was justifiably concerned that its IP, confidential information and trade secrets would be compromised.  CSA developed a protocol to ensure the shipment arrived safely across a long, treacherous and uncertain chain of custody.

Elliot Brazil, host of the “Are You Shipping Me” podcast is joined by Walt Beadling, Matt Brazil, and Erik Hoffer.  Walt is Managing Partner at both the Cargo Security Alliance and Cayuga Partners.  Matt is a Research Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation.  He recently published Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer with co-author Peter Mattis.  Prior to the Jamestown Foundation Matt was involved in cargo theft investigations and intellectual property security in the corporate world.  Erik Hoffer is a Cargo Security Alliance partner and President of CGM Security Solutions Inc. and Rig Secure, Inc., manufacturers of security products and technology designed to mitigate and prevent cargo theft incidents.

America’s Airports: the Threat from Within

Monday, September 23, 2019

The recent indictment of American Airlines mechanic Ahmed Alani on charges of “willfully attempting to damage, destroy, disable and wreck a civil aircraft”, and his alleged ISIS connections, shines a spotlight on a major risk exposure in our airports: employee screening.

Ahmed Alani, American Airlines mechanic accused of tampering with an aircraft, appears in court

“Should people be worried? Hell, yeah,” says Doron Pely, a former aviation security consultant in Israel. “This doesn’t require a suicide bomber. It requires access to an airframe, an aircraft and motivation.”

900,000 people work in the 450 airports under US federal supervision and control, and many are able to bypass traditional screening requirements that passengers must endure.  At the same time, airports, airlines and cargo handlers are under pressure to hire personnel in a tight job market, especially during seasonal peaks, putting pressure on authorities to expedite employee screening.

A House Homeland Security Committee report issued in February, 2017, can be found here.  Since that time, major US airports and air cargo hubs have taken measures to expedite and improve screening procedures, but the threat remains.

Alani entered a “Not Guilty” plea in Miami, FL Federal Court on Friday.

SensiGuard Alert: July 4th Holiday Awareness 2019

Date: 26 June 2019

Location: United States and Canada

Description: Holiday weekends are of notoriously high risk for manufacturers and logistics-related organizations. Organized cargo theft rings in the United States and Canada will be extremely active in the coming days, as more shipments are left unattended for extended periods of time due to the upcoming holiday. This year July 4th falls on a Thursday, meaning that many facilities may be closed on Friday the 5th, resulting in longer stage times and lower security staffing. In July 4th holidays between 2014 – 2018, the SensiGuard™ Supply Chain Intelligence Center (SCIC) recorded 2.5 thefts per day with an average loss value of USD $226,505 which is a theft rate 20% higher and an average loss value 34% higher than thefts throughout the year.

Geographically, Texas (+65%), Ontario (+30%), and Tennessee (+39%) all had significantly higher theft rates during the holiday weekend than throughout the year. Facility Theft (+101%) and Pilferage (+10%) were both more frequently perpetrated over the holiday weekend as well. Within product types, Electronics (avg. value $729,813) and Home & Garden ($81,824) both tie for the most stolen product types over this holiday weekend at 19% each. Electronics beat its normal theft rate by 22% and its average value by 93%, while Home & Garden beat its rate by 33% and its value by 9%.

Recommendation: The SensiGuard SCIC recommends that logistics and security professionals ensure security protocols are up-to-date and in line with industry best practices for both in-transit and warehouse operations. Also, in order to mitigate criminal attempts to exploit cargo at rest, we suggest confirming that a given receiver’s hours of operation for the holiday weekend are consistent with scheduled delivery times and planning for secure parking locations in the event a shipment will have to stop for an extended period of time. Covert GPS tracking and active monitoring of high-value shipments are highly recommended, as they have proven to be the most effective protocols to both mitigate in-transit theft and facilitate successful recovery of stolen product.

In addition, the following guidelines are collectively endorsed by IMUA, PCSC, Travelers Insurance, SWTSC, SETSC, NETSC, the Cargo Security Alliance, and Sensitech:

Transportation:

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.

Storage:

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.

Notable thefts over Fourth of July 2014-2018:

• 2014, Florida, Facility Theft of Cell Phones, $451,000
• 2014, Texas, Theft of Full Truckload of Meat, $200,000
• 2015, Nevada, Facility Theft of Computers, $250,000
• 2015, California, Facility Theft of Hard Drives, $381,000
• 2015, Washington, Theft of Full Truckload of Cell Phones, $5,700,000
• 2016, Texas, Theft of Full Truckload of Canned & Dry Goods, $85,000
• 2016, Tennessee, Theft of Full Truckload of Beer, $42,000
• 2017, Wisconsin, Pilferage of pre-release Toys, $328,000
• 2017, California, Theft of Full Truckload of Appliances, $100,000
• 2018, New Jersey, Facility Theft of Cosmetics, $1,000,000
• 2018, Tennessee, Theft of Full Truckload of Canned & Dry Goods, $458,000

SensiGuard™ Supply Chain Intelligence Center • intel@sensitech.com

http://www.sensitech.com/en/supply-chain-security/sensiguard-services/