Warehousing – Protecting inventory

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With the rise of e-commerce, product flow in and out of warehouses has been at an all time high, so, how can companies protect their goods from theft?

Inventory shrinkage, cargo theft, lost inventory—whatever you call it, the loss or theft of valuable inventory in your warehouse can be a big problem. In fact, data cited by Pride Transport states that “Cargo theft is a US$15 to $30 billion dollar a year problem” and that “those numbers could be low due to the fact that cargo theft is still vastly under-reported.” 

What does warehouse security have to do with preventing cargo theft/shrinkage? How can you create a high-security warehouse? What warehouse security measures does your business need?  

Cargo or inventory still in the warehouse isn’t exempt from being stolen. A lack of warehouse security gives thieves an easy way to steal products and make a quick buck—and no ecommerce business is immune to theft. If your customers are willing to buy the product, then it has a value thieves can capitalise on. 

You might be wondering: “What if I’m not managing a warehouse myself? Do I still need to worry about security then?” The answer is: yes. If you’re partnering with a third party logistics (3PL) company, their warehouse/distribution centre security is still very much a concern since it affects your products. 

Inside and out 

When it comes to warehouse security, it’s important to protect the facility both inside and out. External-facing warehouse security systems, called perimeter security, are used to defend entry points, parking lots and the property line. These external security measures are useful for preventing theft by keeping thieves out of the warehouse or by intimidating casual thieves into thinking the theft attempt isn’t worth the effort and risk. 

Internal warehouse security measures help to catch thieves who breach external warehouse security or employees who abuse their access to steal products from the warehouse. Instead of prevention and intimidation, internal security measures often focus on limiting access or capturing evidence to help catch thieves after the fact. 

It’s important to have layered security measures to protect the facility inside and out. After all, as people are bringing things in and out on a regular basis, some of those people may not be your employees. There are probably multiple entrances and exits and they might not all be manned 24/7. 

Because of how many entry ways and exits there are in a warehouse, combined with the presence of non-warehouse personnel, it’s all too easy for a thief to infiltrate the warehouse and walk off with valuable goods amid the hustle and bustle. This is why both internal and external warehouse security solutions are necessary. 

To see the full article please see our November/December issue here: November/December 2021 Single Issue form – International Trade Magazine (intrademagazine.com)

Media contact

Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, International Trade Magazine
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922
Email: editor@intrademagazine.com

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