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Investigating shortages in the trucking industry is difficult, but trained security professionals often rely on GPS technology when baiting freight to identify employees who lack integrity. How does your organization investigate shortages involving city drivers?

Start with a foundation

Shortage exceptions on delivery receipts are common, especially with shipments at big box retailers. Most organizations will initiate an investigation with a missing pallet of freight, but small shortages, also known as pilferages, are not always on a carrier’s radar. The delivery receipt may indicate a partial delivery and without additional information, the shortage may not be properly investigated.

What can be done when a particular driver is tied to several shortages?

Search for patterns

If you believe that a driver may be involved in theft, analyze delivery receipts and search for patterns. You may find that other accounts have been compromised as well. Once you determine that a specific account is being targeted, consider meeting with the customer to explain the circumstances.

During the meeting, explain that you are investigating shortages and want to ensure that your driver is not involved. Your customer also wants a positive resolution, so be transparent and ask for their assistance with your internal investigation.

Set up a surveillance operation 

In these scenarios, a small GPS tracking device is embedded in an extra carton that is shrink wrapped to a pallet of freight. The GPS device is placed in the freight during the closed hours of business at a trucking terminal, and a unique identifier or marking can be observed on the carton. At the time of delivery, your customer is asked to simply refuse the “extra” carton of freight because it does not belong with their shipment.

After the driver departs from the customer, use the GPS tracking website to determine if any unusual stops occur. Most carriers have specific instructions on what to do with refused or damaged freight, so your driver should return the freight to a specific person or location at the terminal.

Final steps

If you observe that the extra carton is no longer pinging in the location of the trailer, prepare to conduct an interview as soon as the driver returns to the terminal. When the driver understands that termination is inevitable, the interview is usually quick. At this point, you will have to determine if you want to seek prosecution of your driver. If the thefts were not substantial, many carriers elect not to prosecute because removing the problem driver from your payroll is considered a victory.

There are bad apples in every industry, so be sure to debrief your customer. They will thank you for being proactive and taking a unique approach to combat the theft of their product.