Warehouse security and the pandemic

Issue 7 2020 Logistics (Industry)

In the logistics industry, transport security often receives all the attention because of the dramatic and traumatic nature of hijackings and other criminal activity. The warehousing discipline is usually associated with storing products safely and is not viewed in the same light when it comes to security.

This approach is misinformed because companies offering warehouse services are as under attack as are transportation organisations, threatened by criminals using fraud and insider shenanigans, as well as with teams of armed intruders intent on committing their crimes with no regard to human life. If you don’t believe this, simply ask any warehouse security manager how he or she is sleeping.

Massimo Carelle, MD of Bradian Risk and Security Solutions admits that in the first three weeks of lockdown, starting in March this year, there was a slowdown in criminal activity in the logistics world. That was short lived, unfortunately, as criminal activity spiked shortly thereafter and is still climbing. There seems to be no shortage of people looking for black market cell phones, laptops, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other goods.

Expanded security operations

The result is that Bradian is expanding its security operations to support more intelligent decision making by keeping an eye on its properties as well as the surrounding areas. It also keeps in contact with the police and its crime intelligence division. The company has also changed the way it handles security on site.

Carelle, who has been in the security industry since 1993, notes that a different approach is necessary because he has never seen a surge in crime that matches the current wave. It doesn’t help either that everyone now wears a mask.


Massimo Carelle.

While the usual products are being targeted – such as cell phones, because syndicates need communications, although how they get their devices through RICA procedures is still a challenge – the targets now include other goods, from alcohol to sweets, making the job of security that much harder. Additionally, logistics operations are being hit by a combination of attacks from internal and external people, once again complicating matters.

Carelle adds that given the well-armed teams of criminals that often attack warehouses, the traditional approach to guarding and armed response will also have to change in order to deal with the increased risks presented to logistics companies. Moreover, we may well also see changes to the way alarm activation/deactivation is handled in future.

The ‘new normal’ in the logistics market is a lot more work, and security costs are rising, but there is little alternative that won’t result in the company’s customers losing faith in their capabilities. Unfortunately this means the security team is always on call and a day off is a rarity.

For more information contact Bradian Risk and Security Solutions, +27 11 928 8370, www.bradian.co.za


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