Freight Security @ SSL
Meet Eddy Peeters, our Global Quality and Security Manager here at Spedition Services Limited (SSL). Eddy has been with SSL since 2010 and works from our HQ in Waterloo.
Besides the quality and security in the supply chain, Eddy is also responsible for the insurance and environmental aspects of the business. We have been accredited with an ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and TAPA TSR level II certification. Eddy is also currently working on acquiring an AEO certification for SSL.
In this article, we will focus on the security offered within our scope of services. TAPA (Transported Asset Protection Association) aims to prevent cargo crime, to guarantee a safe, secure, and predictable solution. To receive a TAPA certification, logistics service providers must satisfy a demanding auditing process within the supply chain.
Spedition earned TSR level II TAPA accreditation in 2013. Each year we are audited to guarantee and maintain the high standard of security provided and every 3 years we undergo a highly comprehensive external audit to renew our TAPA TSR certification.
We decided to interview Eddy to further understand and recognize the complex, thorough and critical work he has to administer continuously for SSL.
Why is security so important to SSL?
According to TAPA’s Vigilant e-magazine for February 2017 1 for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Asia) region there were:
- 2,611 crimes in 12 months, roughly 5 a day
- €77.6 million – the total loss, despite only 43.5% of crimes providing a loss value
- Incidents recorded in 34 countries across EMEA
- 1,063 attacks, 40.7% of the total, targeted trucks parked in unsecured parking locations
- 1,584 crimes involved theft from vehicle, 60.7% of the annual total
How many incidents has Spedition experienced in recent years?
Since we adopted the TAPA requirements… none.
What kind of pre-emptive measures or plans do you make?
Besides the vetting of everyone involved (from staff internally to external providers), you have the protection of the truck, trailer (container), and driver. We select the safest routes, with the most secure parking spots we can find. There are very few state of the art parking facilities available most probably due to cost and investment, to a certain extent, a lack of understanding of the real danger/risk involved in cargo theft.
Eddy with our TSR accreditations
“This system is not only for trying to catch the thieves, it’s also to protect the drivers.”
As a TAPA certified company, we have strict criteria of some 35 points as a check list, it’s rare we can tick every box. A decent secure parking with guards, dogs, CCTV cameras are few and far between in Europe. We physically audit and check the locations individually, a very time-consuming activity but one with huge benefits and advantages, a few 000 km’s later and few reels of film, we select the ones that best meet the criteria under TAPA.
How do you select the perfect route?
There is a saying, “safety in numbers”, we aim to avoid minor roads, to remain within the main highways, identified by way of physical audits. The number of lanes on a highway count towards safety, lights en route, service stations etc? Congestion and construction en route, if the route is built up, urban/rural, traffic, hard shoulder; a number of different elements impact the “perfect route”. The ultimate goal is least risk of cargo theft.
What type of Technology do you implement within your security protocols?
Besides manual security such as: heavy-duty locks, bolt seals and custom seals. We also have continuous GPS monitoring 24/7, 365 days. The GPS monitoring system allows us to place a geofence around our routes. If the driver deviates +/- 50m outside of the boundary area the system will trigger an alert. Further alarms are received when our technology senses door tampering as well as failed communication within our set parameters.
In addition, we have also introduced the “panic button” system. In case of a risk or threat, the driver triggers an alarm which is automatically sent to our 24-hour control room. The signal displays the GPS coordinates of the alert, where after security (public and private) are on standby to attend the scene.
What security training do the drivers receive?
The drivers receive complete training with continuous refresher courses throughout the year. Whenever an incident might occur, they are pre-warned and remain ever more vigilant. They are attentive and give feedback on any incidents they might witness whilst driving, this gives us the opportunity to pre-empt and remain proactive. Likewise, we provide updates on news coming through and thus they are always aware of weak points/dangers en route.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face within your job?
Staying up to date with the latest trends in criminal activity and not becoming complacent. Despite SSL having no issues since accreditation, we constantly attend security conferences, speak with our clients, and audit our own processes (both internally and externally). An integral part of our auditing process is the regular testing of all our security hardware.
Lastly, what do you enjoy the most about working with SSL?
I enjoy most the environment and atmosphere. SSL is more of a family than a strict bureaucratical organization. Since SSL is not a huge company the communication lines to top management are short. There is great variety, creativity, evolution and change, new ideas coupled with several challenges and new markets and possibilities keep the brain sharp and fully alert.
Thank you Eddy for guaranteeing a high standard of quality and security for Spedition Services Limited (SSL), or as you like to say: Spedition Services Unlimited!
1 Thorsten Neumann, “Dealing with the Threat of Rising Cargo Crime,” Vigilant – People Power, February 1, 2017, page 2-3, accessed June 6, 2017.