When you ask shippers what keeps them up at night, the issue around cargo security is likely a top contender. Just one stolen load of cargo in a year can wreak havoc on a business’s bottom line, let alone four. This was the reality for a technology manufacturer that develops and sells computers and related IT products.
Every load it ships is considered high-value freight, which puts a target on the back doors of every trailer moving those products. Over the course of a year, the manufacturer lost between two and four loads to cargo theft. After 10 years of subpar cargo security, millions in lost revenue, and customer confidence challenges, it was time to track down a better approach to freight safety across the supply chain.
Lack of freight tracking puts cargo security at risk
Freight visibility and driver compliance are two key factors that help improve cargo security. The tech manufacturer had a freight monitoring solution in place, but the system’s risk-mitigating applications fell short. There was no real-time visibility into a load’s actual location and status — freight tracking information was often sent two weeks after it had already been delivered. Additionally, there weren’t automated notifications if a driver made an unapproved stop along the route — which is a key red flag that a high-security load is potentially at risk. This poor feedback loop made efficient driver feedback and corrective coaching difficult and inhibited the manufacturer from knowing where its freight was at any given time.
These ever-present factors put the shipper in freight recovery mode, but it knew it needed to find and implement a cargo security solution that focused on prevention and detection instead.
Supply chain security technology provides customized solution for better freight visibility
Schneider’s Transportation Management division has a long-standing relationship with the manufacturer. Because Schneider is committed to improving cargo security across both its owned assets and third-party carriers, the transportation and logistics provider worked with Overhaul, a supply chain security company, to develop and provide real-time visibility and premier freight tracking capabilities for its brokered freight.
All the manufacturer’s loads are considered high value, so Schneider worked with Overhaul to create a customized solution based on the freight’s characteristics and the manufacturer’s overall business needs. Active monitoring of freight was a must-have, so the following protocols were implemented:
Multiple sources of data are used for real-time monitoring and exception notifications, including:
- Carrier electronic logging devices;
- GPS cargo tracking devices inside the trailer;
- Trailer tracking devices such as SkyBitz; and,
- Driver cell phone apps.
Any time a load experiences an unplanned event, an instant notification is sent to Schneider, allowing the team to follow up with the driver to address the alert.
Schneider and the shipper evaluate and validate the value of the freight, subsequent risks and how incoming notifications should be managed.
For example, geographic areas identified as high-risk hot spots were input as no-stop areas for drivers.
Enhanced cargo security results in zero successful load thefts
Since implementing Overhaul, there have been zero successful load thefts. Schneider saw an opportunity to implement industry-leading technology to improve cargo security and to maximize the shipper’s bottom line.
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