The Australian transport industry relies on corporate security solutions to keep their operations running safely and smoothly. It’s a complex relationship between various stakeholders, and understanding how they all fit together can make it easier for procurement managers and other decision-makers to decide on partnerships that work best.
In order to shed light on the dynamics between corporate security and Australian transport and logistics industry, we’ve prepared this article exploring the issues surrounding transport security, common solutions and practices, and the elements of a functioning relationship between security providers and their clients.
Security Issues in the Transport Industry
1. Smuggling and Trafficking
Think of a logistics network like a literal ecosystem: every truck is a beast, every route is a desire line—and organised criminal elements are parasites looking to migrate by hitching a ride on suitable animals.
When you have vast logistic networks covering massive expanses of land and transporting millions of products on a weekly basis, you provide smugglers and traffickers an opportunity to transport their own cargo within the system.
The transport industry is vulnerable to acts of violence, bribery, and intimidation performed in order to sneak illicit goods onto legitimate freight vehicles. The stories you may have heard about drug operations taking place in broad daylight have basis in fact thanks to the work of smuggling and trafficking rings taking advantage of legal trade lines.
2. The Threat of Terror
Crime syndicates aren’t the only groups that look to exploit the transport industry. It also serves as an attractive target in the eyes of the world’s terrorist organisations.
Contrary to what some may assume, international flights and mass transit aren’t the only sectors that could factor into an act of terror. Domestic freight by land or by air can pass near heavily populated areas, and therefore make for viable targets.
With ASIO having recently deemed that a terror attack on Australian soil is “probable,” a fair and objective acknowledgment of the transport sector’s vulnerability is critical.
3. Theft of Freight
Most commodities produced in and/or consumed by Australia are transported by road, along the nation’s highways and thoroughfares. Many travel across rural areas of the country, often taking trips that stretch long into the night.
These vehicles and their drivers are at constant risk of being intercepted and robbed, especially when details like their schedule and cargo are discovered by the wrong people. In obtaining that information, criminals may target administrative and clerical staff—meaning it isn’t only dispatched workers whose lives and safety demand safeguarding.
4. Depot Burglary, Vandalism, and Arson
Often overlooked when considering security risks are depots and warehouses used by players in the transport industry. It stands to reason: if goods are worth stealing while they’re in transit, then they definitely make for appealing targets when they’re sitting still.
Likewise, depots and the vehicles and goods within are at risk of arson and property damage.
The Complexity of Transport Security Vulnerabilities
Transport security involves many moving parts, and we mean that with no pun intended. Vulnerabilities can arise from any number of a logistics company’s assets and features, such as:
1. Transport Industry Employees
Employees are prone to being threatened or bought off for the sake of sensitive information or access to valuable items.
Unsecured data can serve to inform and embolden malicious elements. Vulnerabilities in office buildings, personnel (and the devices they carry), and cyber security systems can ruin the safety afforded by secrecy.
3. Buildings and Premises
It’s no small feat to secure a building or a site, and assessments of a location’s private security needs often reveal dozens of unguarded entry points and procedural weaknesses that compromise employee and asset security.
4. Business Realities
Finally, any attempt to secure a member of the transport and logistics industry will have to contend with the fact that certain aspects of a business can’t be compromised. In a perfect world, transport companies would have all the time in the world to design better security policies—but in the real world, standing still can cost a significant amount of money.
Going into all the ways that business realities can complicate the task of securing a logistics business would require its own article, so we’ll leave you to imagine the different factors and compromises that have to be taken into account when dealing with a business’ security.
How Corporate Security Can Help the Transport Industry
Corporate security providers have the potential to eliminate a significant number of vulnerabilities in the transport industry, and mitigate whatever weak links remain.
1. Process Optimisation
Few companies have the experience to factor the various facets of security into their processes and workflows. Seasoned corporate security firms step in to offer vital pieces of advice to firms regarding policies on workplace safety, access management, and crisis response.
Beyond improving the overall professionalism of a transport company’s operations, this step reduces risks across the board—from vulnerabilities surrounding entry and exit points to data security.
2. Expert Protection Services
People think of boots on the ground when they think about corporate security or security guard services, and for a good reason. Professionally trained guards and security management officers are critical to maintaining a vigilant environment that deters criminal activity and can swiftly resolve any issues that come up.
In the same vein, mobile security units can be dispatched to protect goods, cash, and personnel-in-transit.
Fears of robbery, arson, and harms befalling employees and assets are mitigated drastically by the involvement of security professionals who are trained to spot and manage threats.
3. Top-of-the-line Equipment
Faulty or outdated security equipment is a threat in and of itself. Since security hardware like cameras, GPS trackers, and other devices used for monitoring and access control purposes are a dime a dozen, it pays to connect with professionals who know what tools work best for the job at hand.
Security companies make it their business to stay informed about the latest tools, as well as common exploits used to get around older and lower-quality models.
4. 24/7 Monitoring and Response
Any corporate security firm worth hiring keeps watch over their charges around the clock. Likewise, firms worth considering make it possible (and easy) to contact their service teams at any hour of the day.
Hiring a competent supplier to handle corporate security and security guard services is of paramount importance to any business operating in the transport and logistics space. For this industry in particular, security is far too complex of a subject to leave to chance or the best guesses of in-house operations managers.
If you’re a procurement officer, or hold a similar position within a transport company and are looking to invest in corporate security, we invite you to contact our experts at Unified Security.
Unified is the country’s largest, indigenously-owned private security provider, with a long and storied history of working with bodies such as Supply Nation and Metro Trains Melbourne to keep Australia’s transport sector healthy and secure its continuing growth.