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Mobile credentialing enables freight forwarders to reduce costs while increasing supply chain transparency. By Richard Moser and Carl Fenger, LEGIC Identsystems.

Continuous technological advancements are reshaping the logistics market. Complex logistic and security challenges can now be solved based on mobile credentialing technology resulting in reduced operational costs and theft, increased transparency, and clearer liability throughout the supply chain.

CARGO SECURITY: Securing cargo handover to prevent freight theft

Global supply chains have experienced significant disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine, as well as increasing vulnerability due to the growing adoption of digital technologies. In 2021, the top 3 causes of freight theft were hijacking (26%), theft from storage facilities (25%) and containers/ trailers (11%) (source: Transported Asset Protection Association). Cargo at rest in unsecured parking lots, container yards or port facilities is especially vulnerable to theft, a situation that is aggravated by growing port congestion.

Criminal organisations increasingly infiltrate supply chains or manage to bribe warehouse workers or truck drivers to steal cargo. Insider theft typically occurs when warehouse or facility employees disclose confidential information pertaining to shipping and delivery times, or when employees intentionally leave doors and gates unlocked overnight, granting criminals easier access to goods.

To mitigate these risks, logistic authorities such as BIS, TT Club & TAPA EMEA recommend security measures such as sealed rail containers with ISO-17712- compliant locks, documented checks on locking devices at all stops, GPS tracking of containers and alarms when container doors are opened by unauthorised personnel.

Securing freight based on real-time monitoring of mobile credentials

Based on dynamically managed encryption technology, real-time mobile credentialing over-the-air, and biometric authentication capabilities of smartphones, secure and auditable permission-based access to storage facilities, containers, vehicles as well as shipping information and packing lists can be quickly implemented.

Benefits of mobile credentialing for Cargo Security:

Wireless configuration – user smartphones and electronic locks can be remotely managed and configured over the air via a secure, encrypted Bluetooth or RFID channel.

Eliminates physical keys which are easily lost or copied and require cumbersome manual storage and handling.

Authentication of both users as well as locks and vehicles prevents fraud and hardware spoofing.

Enabling of an audit trail provides historical reporting of who has interacted with each container, lock, and vehicle, when and where.

Permission-based access grants and revokes access remotely and in real-time.

Offline operation – mobile credentialing platforms can operate autonomously without a network connection resulting in 24/7 availability.

Securely manage delivery of perishable goods

Perishable goods such as food, pharmaceuticals and high value electronics require a controlled temperature to ensure the quality of the product during shipment. With a market value of 782 billion USD by 2030 (source Allied Market Research), the ‘Cold Chain Logistics’ market is becoming increasingly important in global supply chains. Risks in dealing with temperature sensitive goods include food spoilage, degradation of pharmaceuticals, and damage to high-value electronics and other environmentally sensitive products. The main factors contributing to damaged goods are related to improper handling during shipment and last-mile delivery, and failure to comply with regulatory procedures or temperature monitoring guidelines. Reliance on multiple thirdparty service providers also contributes to a lack of logistics overview.

The ability to precisely monitor and record container environment as well as manage and log who accesses a container where and when is becoming increasing important, especially for auditing and liability purposes. Real-time monitoring and cargo access control is becoming a key competitive advantage for providers of Cold Chain Logistics services.

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