In my role as Vice President of Cargo Theft & Specialty Risk Division of ISB Global Services, I was responsible for the development of a cargo loss prevention and supply chain security program. This comprehensive program was designed with a number of preventative cargo security solutions to help mitigate cargo crime.
While developing the program, I canvassed cargo theft stakeholders including insurance companies, transportation companies and police services in regard to their cargo theft pain points and incorporated solutions that could assist with cargo theft deterrence and assist with the load recovery and suspect apprehension efforts. My discussions with cargo theft stakeholders identified the need for an interactive remote video surveillance monitoring service as a risk management solution for both site security and gate assist control that was more cost effective and more efficient than using uniform security guards.
As a former Police Detective, I know first-hand the evidentiary value that quality video surveillance footage plays in painting the picture of what occurred, as well as providing the best evidence necessary in solving a criminal investigation such as cargo theft. When a cargo theft incident occurs the window for recovery is very short and an immediate police response is necessary to prevent a loss.
Today many transportation companies use video surveillance camera systems as a security measure to protect their yards, but the cameras systems are not monitored, and the video surveillance footage is recorded directly to a DVR. Often when a cargo theft incident occurs the transportation company is usually unaware that a theft occurred until the next day at which time a staff member starts the process of reviewing hours of video footage with the police investigator to ascertain when the crime occurred. Although the crime is often captured on video surveillance the trailer and contents are stolen and usually never recovered.
In my opinion, interactive remote video surveillance monitoring provides a much more robust proactive solution for cargo theft mitigation. The ability to have an operator live monitor a trucking yard 24/7/365 with night vision cameras equipped with motion detection capabilities allows for a real-time response. In the event that a culprit cuts or scales a perimeter fence the live monitoring operator will detect the culprit and can interact with the culprit using two way voice speakers. Often this voice interaction will scare off the culprit and prevent the theft from occurring. In the event that there is an attempted theft of a trailer the video footage can be live monitored and recorded while the response centre immediately notifies the police agency of jurisdiction and initiates a police response, to assist with the load recovery and suspect apprehension efforts. In addition, the response centre has the ability to isolate the video footage, create an incident report and send the video surveillance footage clip and report to the police dispatcher in real-time. The video footage clip and report can be passed along to the responding police units providing them with the necessary information required to formulate their grounds for an arrest.
Another effective use of interactive remote video monitoring is for gate access control to a yard for both the arrival and departure of trucking shipments. Strategically placed cameras allow an operator in a response centre to record, identify and monitor driver and truck activity in and out of a yard facility. Information is recorded and documented in a daily audit trail report.
Interactive remote video monitoring is an effective solution to mitigating cargo losses. The saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words” but having the ability to escalate real-time video surveillance footage to police is invaluable.