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COMPETITION WATCH: Schneider recognizes need to improve supply chain security

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Approximately $12 billion worth of cargo is stolen in the US every year, according to the Intern...

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Approximately $12 billion worth of cargo is stolen in the US every year, according to the International Cargo Security Council.

In an effort to address this costly problem, Schneider National recently held a security summit to highlight practical and effective security measures that could be utilized by the transportation industry.

“Within the last few years, and especially during the holiday shopping season, we’ve seen a growing need to protect merchandise being shipped over the road and railways, most notably high-demand electronics,” said Walt Fountain, the director of enterprise security at Schneider National, which sponsored the security summit.

Attendees of the meeting included US manufacturers, rail carriers, highway carriers, security organizations and the California Highway Patrol. The group’s security analysis work has led to the development of over 20 new initiatives that are scheduled to go into effect within the next 90 days, and are expected to cut down on the number of thefts and security breaches.

“Our customers depend on us to ensure their products are being received and delivered securely and efficiently,” added Fountain. “By coming together with leaders in the industry, we were able to identify shared security gaps and put in place best practices and procedures to ensure tighter security within the transportation supply chain.”

Collaborating on security measures with other supply chain providers has paid off well for one company. A manufacturer that became a victim of a high-theft situation a few years ago attended the summit to share the results of implementing tighter security procedures. The shipper had high-value trailers travelling the roadways, and was dealing with significant theft problems from an array of carriers. By tightening its security protocol, the manufacturer has gone from over $35 million in yearly theft loss, to $0, according to Schneider.

During the meeting, the summit participants analyzed supply chain security breaches by considering the life-cycle of high-value freight (such as electronics), while looking for solutions to protect valuable shipments. One representative of the California Highway Patrol praised this corporate strategy and a collaborative initiative to reduce theft.

“Companies like Schneider National that take the time to identify and provide solutions to industry concerns, are essential to the security of our highways and railways,” said Sgt. Steve Reyes. “We appreciate what they do in assisting law enforcement to be more effective in identifying and arresting those who choose to break the law.”

Schneider National has taken a proactive approach to security problems within the transportation industry, by collaborating with various security organizations including the Transportation Security Administration, the FBI and other government and regulatory agencies. This participation includes truckload representatives on the Highway and Motor Carrier Sector Coordinating Council and an active role in the Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism.

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