Unarmed guards are no longer an option

Issue 6 2021 Logistics (Industry), Security Services & Risk Management

Bradian Logistics Solutions is a company in the logistics industry, storing and moving high-value and high-volume goods. The company boasts a very low loss ratio, which the company’s business development manager, Michael Berger, says is through the technological advances in areas “such as the use of data analytics to improve processes and software integration across multiple legacy platforms and suppliers…”

Massimo Carelle.

With 21 years in the business, the company has seen more than its fair share of criminal activity and intentions. Berger says Bradian has “mastered the ability to control the critical factors within the supply chain, from secure warehousing to ensuring the last mile is carried out to perfection. A client selling high-value and high-volume consumer mobile and related products in a retail space has no margins for error.”

Berger has an article on LinkedIn going into more detail; it can be found via www.securitysa.com/*bradian.

Focusing on risk management

Massimo Carelle is the managing director of Bradian Risk and Security Solutions, which is responsible for ensuring stock is received, held and delivered to the people it is intended for. Hi-Tech Security Solutions asked Carelle what has been happening in the logistics business since the initial lockdown in 2020 and also with the riots in July 2021 which saw many warehouses gutted.

In the initial ‘hard lockdown’ criminal activity decreased, but as soon as the rules were relaxed there was a spike in attacks on the logistics industry, Carelle says. He also notes that criminals today are more violent than ever in carrying out their nefarious activities and, in general, more organised and informed. The ‘new normal’ of wearing masks also makes it harder to identify people, even those on blacklists who may be hanging around collecting information for their syndicate masters.

Sadly, the justice system is failing the logistics industry and law enforcement often seems powerless in the face of the syndicates.

Carelle puts it simply: The warehouse/cargo/logistics industry has been under siege since the first lockdown. Unfortunately, because of the extra effort that is put into the security operations, this means that the price consumers pay for their products is also increasing to cover these additional costs.

Intelligence is a commercial necessity

One of the tools Bradian uses in its fight against crime is intelligence and investigation, which gives it an advantage over just using the traditional security approach – although that is still very necessary. Intelligence and cooperation with the crime intelligence unit has helped the company (and others) be more prepared for the onslaught. The person heading up the intelligence unit for the company has years of experience in making connections and finding out information that would otherwise be lost.

As noted above, Carelle adds that the criminal syndicates are very organised today with professional communications among their ‘members’ as well as funding to ensure they can carry out high-value heists. Some of their information is gained from insiders, knowingly or not and willingly or not. And as also mentioned, violence is part of the business.

In terms of communications, these syndicates often make use of ‘stopper groups’ whose only task is to interfere with police or armed response companies as they respond to an emergency, buying more time for criminals onsite to get the goods they are after. High-value goods are their favourite – such as mobile phones – but sweets and alcohol are also profitable items to sell on the black market.

He adds that it is no longer realistic to have unarmed guards looking after a warehouse as they are simply targets and unable to defend themselves in worst-case scenarios, which happen all too often. Additionally, the trend to automate as much as possible is also growing to avoid the possibility of collusion or intimidation. This could have a significant impact on the number of jobs in the industry over time, but the criminal element has no morals or scruples and innocent employees are at risk.

Remote monitoring is also growing as another layer to the security operation, guarding against a case where the security staff onsite are overpowered.

In summing up, Carelle notes that there are still logistics operations out there that see security spend as a grudge purchase and go for the ‘cheap and nasty’ solutions, until they are hit and they realise the real cost of not having security in place. In the case of Bradian, security is part of the budget, an important part, as the company’s ability to deliver naturally has an impact on the confidence its customers have in its ability to deliver (literally).


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