Do you know where your shipments are? How visibility technology can mitigate cargo theft and security risk

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March 30, 2023 - Cargo theft is a much more prevalent issue than people realize. The impact of that loss translates into not only financial damages (more than $220 million in losses) but can also lead to severe disruptions in the supply chain, damage to a business's reputation, an increase in insurance premiums, and the cost of time and money spent on investigations. For example, pharmaceutical theft or damage can trigger recalls while theft in the technology and electronics space can have a destructive impact on production cycles and product launches. (Read BSI’s Supply Chain Insights Report 2023 on the state of the industry.)

As a result, many companies are turning to real-time visibility technology to prevent and reduce the risk of cargo theft and damage. This type of technology provides businesses with real-time data on the location, condition, and status of their shipments and allows companies to monitor those shipments from the point of origin to the final destination.

Having more information about your shipments can make supply chain security “everybody's problem” in the best way possible. Supply-chain security is often viewed as a financial burden or a reactive measure that only investigates incidents after the fact. In truth, supply-chain security serves as a means of addressing and avoiding quality issues that frequently arise during transit. This approach encourages the wider acceptance of supply-chain security and promotes the well-being and resilience of the entire supply chain.

Greater visibility can help identify potential risks before they become major issues. By monitoring the supply chain in real-time, businesses can quickly detect any deviations from the planned route or unexpected delays, enabling them to take immediate action; essentially, it’s an early warning system. It allows you to pinpoint what's going wrong and where, so you can get in contact with your carrier to understand when and how a disruption is happening.

Collecting data on past incidents identifies areas of vulnerability and sheds light on where preventative measures are needed. I encourage companies to start using those solutions to track both financial and time costs and to ask themselves these questions:

  • How much time are you spending on investigations?
  • What is it doing to your insurance premiums?
  • How often are you able to intervene before something happens?

Looking at the “near misses” for supply-chain security helps prove the return on investment for tracking and other interventions.

Listen as Tony Pelli discusses how companies are utilizing visibility technology to mitigate risk and prevent cargo theft during a recent supply chain security webinar

Look for our upcoming series focused on C-TPAT, where BSI’s Security & Resilience experts provide an overview of the eligibility requirements and benefits of this certification.

For more BSI insights on other supply chain topics, visit our Experts Corner. For real-time updates on top supply-chain issues, register for BSI’s Connect SCREEN tool; this platform provides daily analysis on the latest and most relevant global supply chain trends.