For many businesses, one of the biggest investment areas is stock, materials, inventory, equipment, and the like. Sometimes, a lot of cash is tied up in products that need to be moved around the country or the world, or rare materials must be shipped into and from business premises.
No matter what you sell in your venture, if you have valuable stock that you need to move throughout the year, it’s vital to ensure its security so you don’t have extensive insurance and cashflow issues to worry about. Here are some tips for securing valuables when in transit.
Identify the Prime Risks
Start by analyzing your supply chain carefully to identify where the main risks could be for your expensive items. For example, investigate your facilities, processes, and network, including the suppliers you use and the logistics providers who transport goods for you, if applicable. Once you’re clear about where issues are most likely to crop up, you can better monitor situations and put security measures in place (and then measure them over time) to mitigate the risks.
Choose Shippers Wisely
One of the key factors in protecting your stock in transit is selecting the right shippers in the first place. Unfortunately, one of the biggest scams in logistics these days is false driver credentials, where shippers and freight forwarders struggle to find drivers and other workers and thus have to choose people and carriers they’re less familiar with. This enables thieves and fraudsters to get involved and often to drive away with the goods, never to be heard of again.
As such, you need to ask logistics firms how long they’ve been working with their staff and what types of background checks they do. They need to understand common scams used by sophisticated criminals, such as obtaining government credentials to appear legitimate or using the name of certified carriers that recently folded or sold.
Thieves often cultivate inside sources at shippers, too, or spend time observing workday patterns and then arrive at pickup facilities armed with enough details to seem legitimate. Ask the companies you’re considering if they stay updated on scams like this and teach their staff what to look out for. There should be solid processes in place to identify fraudsters right away.
Assign Security Guards
A step that many businesses are taking to help prevent theft and other problems is to assign security guards to escort goods in transit. While this is an added expense for your budget, it can save you a lot of money when you consider lower insurance costs, fewer lost sales and upset customers, and the time you and your team save from not having to deal with trying to get stolen items back.
Search online and ask other business owners and contacts for recommendations of quality security guard firms, and read reviews of different companies online and elsewhere. Check out the websites of shortlisted options to get a good idea of which services they do and don’t provide and how long their businesses have been operating for.
Reading the sites of operators such as Protos Security, found at https://protossecurity.com/security-services/, will also give you an idea of how qualified staff are and if they’re properly licensed. However, if you can’t see the information you need or want to see proof of training and licenses, don’t be afraid to ask to see paperwork related to this. Trusted firms won’t mind sharing information to prove they’re legitimate and don’t have anything to hide.
Choose Direct Routes and Expedite Services Where Possible
Once packages are in transit, it helps to have drivers take direct routes so they get to their destinations sooner, and there’s less chance of something happening along the way. However, it also pays for tech tools such as digital maps and route planning to be used to pick up on potential traffic delays such as accidents and roadworks and avoid these wherever possible.
Many business owners also like to expedite services when funds allow so that items get shipped via plane or other quicker transport options. In these situations, goods spend less time in areas where holdups could occur or get moved in and out of warehouses less often where theft could arise.
Other top tips for securing valuable stock in transit are:
- Select the best possible timing for shipments, such as opting for quieter weekdays rather than holidays and weekends
- Use technology for real-time parcel tracking
- Apply quality packaging to protect products in transit and cargo seals and the like to help keep goods secure
- Take out comprehensive insurance on items in case problems arise
It takes extra time, money, and energy to secure goods, but this investment will be worth it when you can avoid problems and deliver products to your customers on time and in the proper condition. Take the above steps today and in the future for a business that can thrive.