THE WAR AGAINST CARGO THEFT - A tale of woe from Ryder Truck Lines
Byder security manager Tom Moore and vice president of claims and security Irv
Sierra say fed¬eral prosecutors won’t seek indictments for losses under $500. Signing a
complaint against an employee “caught with the goods has frequently resulted in
counter law suits in cases where local authorities declined to prosecute. Sierra said it
took $10,000 in court costs to win a civil suit brought against Ryder by an employee
accused of stealing firearms, and the man is still in their employ! Even with such legal
disappointments, Ryder’s management considers loss claims to be a mortal sin and
continues to take action against theft. For example:
• A security man watched as two employees re¬moved a carton from the dock
and placed it in a car trunk. Both were immediately fired. The case was taken to
arbitration, and the man who carried the carton was found quilty. The second man,
judged innocent, is back on the payroll and has filed a $20,000 suit against Byder.
• Ryder security, city police and the FBI caught seven employees, including a
supervisor, taking out freight through a “locked’’ maintenance shop street exit. The
men were believed responsible for over $200,000 in stolen freight. All seven were
fired, without union opposition, but there has been no court action in the three months
since their arrest.
• In Louisiana, police caught an employee stealing a $490 case of merchandise
by hiding it in his car trunk. The man was fired, but police took no action.
These cases, and many more like them, tend to discourage industry officials from
prosecuting employees for theft. And the situation isn’t likely to improve until cargo
theft cases are treated as major crimes.
On a happier note, Ryder Truck Lines has had considerable success with physical
security methods. They re a firm believer in kingpin locks for high-value loads. Over
the past year, at least 15 of these locks have been hammered and sawed on, but none
have been removed. Ryder also employs cable seals and a central control system.
Cable seals cost about $1 each but can only be removed with bolt cutters. Trailer
hardware is welded to prevent entry with a wrench.
Other security measures at Ryder include keeping private cars out of terminal yards
where possible and using security guards at some terminals. Ryder has negotiated a
contract that makes their private guard service liable for any losses incurred while their
men are on duty.
Finally, Ryder pays substantial rewards for information on thefts. Today, Ryder’s overall
claims ratio is less than one percent—significant evidence that good security pays off.