Improving Package Security can Lower Freight Costs Author: akecskes
June 08, 2011

To protect your packages, you have a variety of tactics and seal options to choose from. Yes, freight costs have gone up, but you shouldn't scrimp on package security.

For starters, you need to establish just how vulnerable your carrier has been to theft. That means taking a close look at the carriers' theft history, and how vulnerable your supply chain is in terms of packaging and unit volume. Don't let a carrier's low freight costs fool you. Go with the top carriers. UPS recently updated it’s security measures for packages. Customers must now show a photo ID at retail locations worldwide - like the UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. FedEx couriers will not leave packages without a signature unless there is an agreement on file to allow it.

Next, you'll want to assess how attractive your shipments are to thieves. Cigarettes, hard liquor, drugs, computer equipment and similar high-value items are on the top of every "hit list." While they may raise your overall freight costs, you'll want high security seals for these items. You'll also need to educate yourself on the types of seals currently available. Barrier and electronic seals are most common. Indicative seals change their shape or appearance when tampered with. Locking bars and cable seals, once cut, cannot be re-secured. Electronic seals embedded in an RFID chip will allow you to track a package, but they lack physical barrier security.

The experts will tell you that small packages--like computer chips, jewelry, iPods/iPhones, DVDs, or cameras--are best secured with self-adhesive packaging seals or pallet-locking steel top clips. They add a measure of security and reveal if a package was tampered with. If a seal requires complex efforts to determine penetration or bypass, it may be of limited security value. Seals should also be scrutinized for their integrity in the face of environment exposure - humidity, cold, heat, etc. Better seals may add to your overall freight costs, but the peace of mind they provide is worth it.

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