Preventing Supply-Chain Thefts at Ports This Holiday Season




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Shipping backlog and supply chain issues have spelled disaster for ports this holiday season. Container ships are crowding docks nationwide, and in some cities, cargo from Asia is even being diverted to ports in other parts of the country.
This logjam has contributed to the recent rise in consumer prices and empty retail shelves, putting pressure on companies as well as state and federal governments to find a solution. Last month the Port of Los Angeles announced it would run their operations 24/7, but a shortage of truck drivers and nighttime warehouse workers have posed problems for the nonstop schedule.
Along the West Coast, congested container yards have made ports a hotbed for burglaries, and more than $5 million worth of goods have been stolen in “supply-chain thefts” in the third quarter alone. As we enter the last month of the year, experts predict that theft activity will remain elevated, with a large target on containers holding electronics and household goods. Unfortunately, this means facilities without a full security staff are incredibly vulnerable.
This is where private security services can step in and bridge the gap. Whether it’s armed or unarmed guards, loss prevention specialists, foot patrols, concierge service, or all of the above, these professionals can help identify weak spots and implement a security plan that ensures the port does not become a conduit of criminal activity.
A high-quality security partner can provide peace of mind that guards are up-to-date on their training and best practices, including tactics such as conflict de-escalation and resolution. They can also help identify and mitigate a plethora of risks. For example, while containers are an obvious target for attack, they should not be the only area of focus. Other areas of port security such as video surveillance, access control, and practical limitations due to infrastructure must be seriously considered.
Port operators must take a proactive versus reactive approach to crime, placing emphasis on early detection and prevention. This requires intelligence sharing and coordination between law enforcement agencies, internal port security departments, private security firms, and the companies utilizing the shipping facilities. By working together with organized efforts, these stakeholders can help reduce losses resulting from criminal activity this holiday season.

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