The Best Ways to Improve Supply Chain Security During Transportation

Our global economy relies on goods moving efficiently through complex supply chains. Whether it’s raw materials, components or finished products, ensuring these assets can be transported securely is crucial. There are a wide range of threats that pose significant challenges to supply chain and logistics management. Here we look at some of the risks businesses face during transportation and how you can help improve your supply chain security.

Supply Chain Security Seals

The modern supply chain faces several physical threats, both deliberate and inadvertent. Supply chains are incredibly vulnerable to natural disasters, accidents, strikes and infrastructure failures. Significant delays may lead to the loss of perishable items and increased costs for both businesses and consumers. These disruptions can have a cascading effect throughout the supply chain, affecting production, inventory levels and customer satisfaction.

An area of increasing concern is deliberate supply chain threats. Man-made attacks like cyber-attacks, theft, vandalism, terrorism and piracy are growing. Cargo theft remains a pervasive problem globally, with criminal networks targeting shipments. From truck hijackings to warehouse burglaries, the theft of high-value goods poses a significant threat. Pilferage (small-scale theft or unauthorised access to cargo) can also occur at various points during transportation.

Safeguarding your supply chain demands a proactive approach. By implementing these strategies, you can enhance security during transportation and protect your assets.

1. Conduct Comprehensive Risk Assessments

It is important to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify vulnerable points in your supply chain. Look at historical data, engage with key stakeholders and consider local security regulations. Also, evaluate the data you share with suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers to identify any vulnerabilities. Develop contingency plans to address potential risks, which may include alternate transport routes, backup storage facilities and emergency response protocols.

2. Invest in Robust Packaging and Sealing Technologies

Deter theft and reduce the chance of pilferage or tampering by installing tamper-evident bolt seals, security labels, and security seals. These are serial numbered for tracking and to protect against serial number duplication. Consider using supply chain tracking devices with remote monitoring systems for real-time visibility of your cargo.

3. Collaborate with Reputable Logistics Partners

Collaborate with reputable logistics partners who have their own security protocols and provide risk mitigation strategies. Their strategies might include:

  • Tracking systems that use GPS technology to monitor cargo and vehicles in real-time.
  • Using secure parking areas.
  • Regular vehicle and warehouse inspections.
  • Trained security for high-risk routes.

4. Leverage Technology for Advanced Security

To improve supply chain security, leverage technology to stay ahead. Consider video surveillance systems, biometric personalised access or 3D facial recognition. Emerging technologies like data analytics and artificial intelligence can identify patterns, detect anomalies and predict potential security breaches.

5. Prioritise Employee Training and Awareness

Unfortunately, many supply chain thefts are conducted by employees and contractors. Conduct background checks and risk profiles when hiring. Consider annual police screening checks and random drug screenings. Companies should also focus on creating an environment of trust and security for employees. Encourage a culture of security awareness throughout the organisation. Provide security protocol training and teach employees how to recognise and report suspicious activities. Conduct surprise security drills to ensure protocols are up to date.

6. Foster Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

Supply chain and logistics management are constantly evolving. Security risks, management strategies and government regulations often change. Foster partnerships with industry associations, supply chain stakeholders and law enforcement to stay updated. Engage in information-sharing initiatives and participate in relevant industry forums to stay informed about emerging security risks and best practices.

Safeguarding the supply chain during transportation is complex and requires a multifaceted approach. Recognising the security risks involved and implementing comprehensive measures can help mitigate potential threats and protect your assets. By following these six strategies, you can enhance your supply chain security and ensure the resilience of your operations.

Harcor is Australia’s first and largest dedicated security seal supplier. If you’re looking for advice on improving physical security in your supply chain, please contact our friendly team.