Reasons to Join a Regional Transportation Security Council

By Jac Greenlee, former SETSC Board Member and Current Board Advisor

Councils were originally started because of little to no shared intelligence about cargo theft incidents regionally.  Basically, private industry decided to come together to share information about their own cargo theft losses amongst themselves and Law Enforcement in hopes to begin to minimize the thefts occurring around them regionally.

Fast forward from the inception of regional councils to today, and you will find regional councils flourishing and working hard to communicate cargo theft intelligence, training and networking between private industry, Law Enforcement and state government.    

Benefits from Joining a Regional Transportation Security Council

Cargo Theft Intelligence: Attending monthly meetings are an important way to get actionable intelligence from council members of events affecting not only their supply chains, but also the supply chains of other Members. In SETSC, (Southeastern Transportation Security Council), I can’t tell you how many times one intelligence review found other affected Members resulting in additional information that lead to solving specific cases. Certainly, there are outside sources, for a price, that can assist Members and Law Enforcement; however, having a local network that comes together in commonality to fight cargo theft is just a valuable.  

Training: Over the years, different councils have put together trainings for private industry and Law Enforcement. For example, SETSC tends to identify problem areas and design trainings to fit the current situation. For instance, last year in Savannah there had been several thefts of containers, primarily from unsecured yards. The focus of that training was to bring notice the awareness and best practices to secure facilities and yards in the Savannah area. The GBI Major Theft Task Force as well as private industry assisted SETSC in this training by providing current intelligence and examples of best practices.  SWTSC, (The Southwest Transportation Security Council) holds the two-day Texas Summit on Cargo Theft in the first quarter of the year. This week the Midwest Cargo Security Council holds a one-day conference in the Chicago area. Finally, the National Cargo Theft Summit is held in the fall. This year it will be held in Memphis, TN. The biggest point being, current intelligence, standards, best practices, and networking, are available for little more than the expense to travel to these events through the year.  Stay alert to your regional council and any trainings they should offer.

State Governments: Councils have been instrumental in getting cargo theft laws changed or amended.  SETSC and SWTSC partnering with external groups/associations and Law Enforcement, were successful in getting laws changed in Texas and Georgia that gave Law Enforcement “teeth” to go after and convict cargo thieves. In addition, SETSC and Georgia Motor Trucking Association worked to lobby the Georgia Governor’s Office several years ago to provide funding for a special GBI Task Force to specifically address cargo crime. That task force, led by Special Agent-in-Charge, John Cannon has been so successful that in 2017, Georgia saw a reduction of 64 percent in cargo related incidents*, (CargoNet 2017)    

Regional councils and contact information:

  • Eastern Regional Transportation Security Council

Kurt Duesterdick, Chairman

  • Virginia/Carolinas Cargo Security Council

Jennifer Bennett, Chairman

  • Southeastern Transportation Security Council

Bob Hastings, President

  • Mid-South Cargo Security Council

David Larkin, Chairman

  • Midwest Cargo Security Council

Nick Erdman, Chairman

  • Southwest Transportation Security Council

J.J. Coughlin, Chairman

  • Western States Cargo Theft Association - North

Sgt. Ward Radelich

  • Western State Cargo Theft Association - South

Advantages of Continuous Shipment Monitoring

Using GPS tracking technology provides a fundamental layer of security to mitigate cargo theft or loss. However, the advantages of an additional layer of security from continuous monitoring during the journey of a high-value shipment can also provide significant return on investment.

The ShadowTrack 24/7 (ST24/7) Command Center provides continuous monitoring services for shipments throughout the U.S. and abroad. With the launch of the proprietary, patent-pending Visualization Intelligence Platform (VIP), an entire supply chain can be visualized. VIP allows the ST24/7 Command Center to efficiently manage hundreds of devices and facilitate quick response to mitigate risk.

VIP groups individual tiles that contain details of a shipment’s information that need to be captured for monitoring, such as stops, motion, light detection, doors unlocked, geofence, georoute, temperature breach, low battery, out of coverage, etc. Symbols and colors on the easy-to-understand visual tiles signify events, sensors and alerts. This visual presentation enables monitoring of many devices by a single user.

ShadowTrack 24/7’s VIP also facilitates quick response to mitigate risk. We work with shippers, drivers and consignees to monitor deviations and exceptions, and provide alert notifications and respond to emergency calls.  

Recent examples from the ST24/7 Command Center:

ST24/7 Command Center Notifies 3PL of Driver Leaving Staged Area

The ST24/7 Command Center was monitoring a shipment that had arrived just outside its destination at 9 p.m. The destination delivery location was closed until 6 a.m. the next morning. The shipment was staged for the night at a nearby unsecure location.

At 10 p.m. the ST24/7 Command Center reported to the 3PL that the shipment had departed its staged location and was traveling south away from the destination location. The 3PL contacted the Carrier and advised them of the activity. The Carrier contacted the driver and learned they had made the decision to meet a family member at a location 100 miles from the destination. The driver was advised to return to the staging location as they were not authorized to deviate from their route until the shipment had been delivered. The driver complied and the shipment was delivered on time the following morning.

In this case, exceptions to freight security protocol generated alerts to customers because of continuous monitoring. Timely and proactive communication led to risk mitigation.

Driver Picking Up Additional Cargo for Dedicated Load Reported by ST24/7 Command Center

A shipment from New Hampshire to Oregon containing a ShadowTrack 24/7 ST-Solo device embedded in the cargo generated a light alert in Illinois. The ST24/7 Command Center reported the alert to its customer. The Broker contacted the Carrier who claims its driver was on its prescribed route and provided a location different from the location reported by the ST-Solo by 80 miles.

The ST24/7 Command Center provided the exact location of the device to its customer who had brokered a dedicated shipment so that additional cargo was not authorized. The Broker contacted the company where the driver had gone, apprised them of the situation and asked them not to load any additional cargo on that shipment. The driver was advised to return to the approved route and deliver the cargo as contracted.

The shipment delivered on time and inspection of the cargo determined that it has not been compromised. However, pictures were taken of the back of the trailer that indicated the Carrier had rigged the doors so they could be opened without breaking the seal or unlocking the hatch.

Without the intervention by the ST24/7 Command Center to get answers for the exception to protocol the integrity of the load would have been compromised.

Continuous monitoring of shipments in transit can provide a return from increased security and the opportunity to mitigate risk that more than covers the expense of monitoring, especially when visualization tools like the ShadowTrack 24/7 VIP can be used to cost-effectively monitor more shipments than through conventional monitoring centers.

George Wheeler

Director of Operations

ShadowTrack 24/7

ShadowTrack 24/7 ST-Solo used to stop Carrier Fraud

On Friday, February 17th a Carrier was caught red-handed attempting to "Double Dip" on cargo by putting two dedicated shipments in one trailer. A Shipper booked a dedicated trailer for their cargo to transit across the US. The cargo did not fill the trailer and the Carrier, despite knowing that the Shipper had paid for a dedicated trailer to be treated as an FTL shipment, decided to try and use the extra space by booking more cargo.

The shipment departed from the East Coast and was transiting across I-80 to the West Coast. In a Midwest state, the Carrier had booked additional cargo to fill the remaining space in the trailer. What they didn't know was the original Shipper had embedded an ST-Solo in the shipment. The ST-Solo is a single use GPS tracking device and process that provides location, motion, light and temperature. Once the Carrier opened the trailer doors an alert was sent to the Shipper and the ShadowTrack 24/7 Command Center. Their was an immediate escalation process that led to the discovery that the Carrier was trying to load additional cargo into the trailer. The Broker for the original Shipper and the attempted Shipper had both paid for dedicated trailers going to the same West Coast city. The Carrier and Driver was attempting to fraud the Shippers and Brokers.

What makes this situation worse was that it was not a case of the Carrier having to use a trailer at the last moment due to an issue, which is what they claimed to the attempted Shipper. This was a purposeful act of fraud and the images for this article should be shown to everyone who works in the shipping department.

The original Shipper placed a cable seal through the locking hasp of the trailer. If you look closely at that locking hasp, it is clean, unlike the one on the left side of the trailer. Also, you will notice that the rivet was removed and replaced with an allen-wrench headed bolt. The locking hasp was removed so the seal remained in tact and the cargo could be loaded onto the trailer without the original Shipper being aware of the fraudulent activity. Also, if you look at the other rivets for the trailer bar, they too have been removed and replaced with torx-tip headed bolts. This is so a cable placed around the bars and locked can also be removed without opening the seal.

We will never know how many times the Carrier had gotten away with this fraudulent activity. We also don't know if the Carrier ever used this process to remove cargo from the back of the trailer. We do know that if you do not protect your cargo with a GPS embedded tracking device that provides sensors such as light, you could be a victim of fraud or cargo theft and you're not even aware of what the Carriers are doing with your cargo once it departs your facility.

This Shipper will tell you that the ST-Solo was the best $35 they ever spent to secure a shipment. However, taking the time to inspect a trailer for suspicious items like these prior to sealing the doors costs nothing and could also help avoid being a victim.

Inspect all trailers before loading for suspicious items like this!

January 9, 2017 Updates

Cargo Theft

  • BSi Reported: Fictitious Transport Company Steals Pharmaceutical Products From Warehouse in Moscow, Russia Police officers arrested four criminals who posed as legitimate shippers to steal over 11 million rubles of unspecified pharmaceutical products from a warehouse in Moscow, Russia. The cargo theft group reportedly broke into the accounts of freight transportation companies and used forged documents to execute the heist. Russian authorities suspected that the detainees may have been involved in other similar crimes perpetrated in the area.
  • The Chinese Job! Thieves steal goods from a moving truck and throw them onto their van following behind Many of you have seen some of my presentations where I show an aerial video of cargo thieves in Romania stealing cargo from a moving truck by getting close enough behind it to climb out on the hood and force open the rear truck doors. Here is the latest version of that dangerous activity in China (last year a similar stunt was done in China on a pharma load) See:  
  • New Jersey State Police Mandates Local Law Enforcement Agencies Report Cargo Theft: the NJSP has mandated that local municipalities submit a "File 16" to the State Police whenever a cargo theft occurs in their jurisdiction (see the link, also known as a "Cargo Theft Reporting Instructions")

Supply Chain Disruptions

  • Thailand: As of 9 January 2017, unseasonably heavy rainfall continued across southern Thailand, affecting approximately 1 million people. The floods have affected at least 330,000 residences and damaged transportation infrastructure. Officials at Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport (VTSF/NST) stated that the airport will remain closed until 11 January due to flooding on the runway. Thai officials announced that they have deployed military troops and police officers to respond to the effects of the floods, including conducting water rescues and making aid deliveries. Residents remain on alert for potential flash flooding in the provinces of Surat Thani, Phuket, Nakhon Si, Thammarat, Phetchaburi, Ranong, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Phangnga and Krabi. The total number of fatalities has reached 21 since the rains started on 1 January. Travelers should continue to monitor local weather reports.
  • Turkey: All domestic flights into and out of Istanbul's Ataturk Airport (LTBA/IST) -- the third-busiest airport in Europe -- were canceled until at least 1800 local time (1500 UTC) on 9 January 2017 due to heavy snow in the area. Cancellations could extend through midnight local time. Both Ataturk Airport and Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport (LTFJ/SAW) experienced significant delays over the weekend of 6-8 January after snowfall began on the evening of 6 January. Travelers planning trips to or through Istanbul's airports should prepare for delays and should adjust travel plans accordingly.

    Turkey: On 9 January 2017, at approximately 1300 local time (1000 UTC), representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), political parties and unions gathered in front of the Turkish parliament building in Ankara to protest constitutional amendments under discussion in the legislature, which would increase the power of the presidency. Police officers forcibly dispersed the protest with tear gas and water cannons shortly after it began. Security officials subsequently cordoned off the premises of the parliament, and police officers secured the streets leading to the building.

    United Kingdom: On 8 January 2017 at 1800 local time/UTC, London Underground staff workers began a pre-announced 24-hour-strike that prompted the closure of most tube (subway) stations in zone one (central London), as well as those on the Victoria, Waterloo and City lines. Transport for London (TfL) deployed extra buses for use, but roads and National Rail services are expected to experience a much higher volume of passenger traffic than usual, affecting travel for all commuters; bus stations, for example, experienced wait times of up to two hours on the morning of 9 January. The strike began after last-minute talks between the London Underground and RMT and TSSA union failed. The effects of the strike are expected to be felt throughout 9 January, especially during the evening rush hour.

    The transportation system in London will experience additional disruptions in the coming days, as Southern Railway workers will begin a two-day strike on 10 January, followed by a 24-hour strike on 13 January. The strike is expected to affect approximately 300,000 passengers in southern Britain, particularly those commuting into or out of London. Thameslink services will continue and TfL is likely to increase bus circulation to help ease the effects of the strike. Travelers in London during the strike should avoid public transportation and should prepare for heavy traffic due to an increased number of drivers on the roads.

    British Airways cabin crew members are also scheduled to stage a strike on 10-11 

  • Israel: On 8 January 2017, a truck driver deliberately drove his vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians at a bus stop on the Armon Hanatziv promenade in Jerusalem, killing four Israeli soldiers and injuring 17 civilians. Authorities shot and killed the perpetrator, who is believed to be from East Jerusalem. Following the attack, officials closed the promenade, which overlooks the Old City. While no group has claimed responsibility, the militant Palestinian group Hamas issued a statement calling the attack “heroic.” For his part, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the attacker may have been a sympathizer of the Islamic State (IS).

10 Step Process for Creating a Robust and Resilient Supply Chain Security Program

The first three videos of this series brought awareness to cargo theft from the sharing of information and understanding your organization's risk, standards, best practices and gaining leadership support for a cargo security program, and understanding cargo theft investigations. For this next video, we take what we have learned from our four industry experts and we have created a 10 step process that your organization can use to create a robust and resilient supply chain security program.

Implementing any one of these steps by themselves can help reduce the risk to your cargo in transit. However, these steps all work together to ensure you not only reduce the risk to your supply chain but you also have a program that can help you respond and recover from a cargo theft incident. The 10 steps include:

  1. Security and Risk Assessment
  2. Driver Focus
  3. Routes
  4. Point of Pick-up Control
  5. Freight Security Guidelines
  6. Technology
  7. Intelligence
  8. Recovery Plan
  9. Measurements
  10. Re-Evaluation

Don't miss this video on how your organization can use each step in this process to create a robust and resilient supply chain security program.

The Cargo Theft Awareness Video series is sponsored by the Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition (PCSC), the Southeast Transportation Security Council (SETSC), the Southwest Transportation Security Council (SWTSC), the Midwest Cargo Security Council, ShadowTrack 24/7 and the International Crisis Room 360 (ICR360).  

If you haven't already registered to receive the video series on Cargo Theft Awareness, you can register using the following link:  If you have already registered you will receive videos from this series automatically in your inbox.

Look forward to your feedback. Send me an email or leave comments below.

George Wheeler

Cargo Theft Investigations

At a recent NICB Conference, I was able to have a discussion with Robert Hastings, President of Hastings Investigations & Consulting and Chairman of the SouthEast Transportation Security Council (SETSC)and John Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) Major Theft Unit.

During this discussion we talked about cargo theft awareness from a cargo theft investigation's point of view.  Both Bob and John conduct cargo theft investigations, but this is a great conversation because John speaks from the Law Enforcement perspective and Bob works very close with John but works direct with the Insurance and Trucking Industries.  During this video you will learn:

  • What your organization can do to assist a cargo theft investigation
  • Key components to an effective cargo theft investigation
  • Biggest challenges that investigators have when investing cargo theft
  • How Cargo Thieves are adapting to the security measures that companies are using in their cargo in-transit
  • Case Studies from actual Cargo Theft investigations
  • And much more...

This is a great discussion because of the knowledge that Bob and John have about cargo theft.  I appreciated the question/answer discussion and the sharing of their experience as well as the case studies from actual investigations.  Bob and John provide valuable and practical information that you can use to help your organization raise awareness to cargo theft and what steps to take to prevent cargo theft from happening in your supply chain.  I had a couple big takeaways from this discussion: 

  1. What makes cargo theft investigations successful today is the level of information that is being shared between law enforcement, insurance and corporate industries.
  2. "Know your cargo thieves."  This was a great part of the discussion that most people would never think of.  

The Cargo Theft Awareness Videos are sponsored by Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition (PCSC), Southeast Transportation Security Council (SETSC), Southwest Transportation Security Council (SWTSC), MidWest Cargo Security Council, ShadowTrack 24/7 and International Crisis Room 360 (ICR360).  If you haven't already registered to view the video series on Cargo Theft Awareness, you can register using the following link:

If you have already registered, you will receive links to new episodes for the videos from this series automatically in your inbox.

Thank you, Bob Hastings and John Cannon, for sharing your time and expertise. And thank you for watching the Cargo Theft Awareness Video Series.  I hope you get a lot of value from the discussions in these videos.  If you have any questions you can reach me at


George Wheeler

Cargo Theft Awareness Discussion with David Wilt

David Wilt and I recently shared a recorded discussion on cargo theft prevention.  David is the Global Supply Chain Security Manager at Xerox and former Chairman of the Board for TAPA US, and the US Maritime Resource Center Board of Advisors.

David has been with Xerox about 25 years focusing on supply chain since 2005.  He has been instrumental throughout the industry in helping to educate organizations about industry best practices and standards. During our discussion, David talks about:

  • Cross industry supply chain security.  How you can benefit from best practices of any industry's supply chain security program.
  • How are Supply Chain Security Managers working with IT for cyber crimes that impact the supply chain or aid in the theft of cargo?
  • Why aren't all industry's utilizing GPS tracking even though the cost of covert tracking has dramatically reduced over the past 8 years?
  • The benefits of joining organizations such as Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).
  • How do you get leadership buy-in for a cargo security program, especially if your organization hasn't experienced a cargo theft.
  • And much more...

With David's experience, he is able to articulate very well on any topic regarding supply chain security.  I know will get value from this discussion.  As with my discussion with JJ, David provides valuable and practical information that you can use to help your organization raise awareness to cargo theft and what steps to take to prevent cargo theft from happening in your supply chain.  A big takeaway form this discussion was, "Embed security into your business processes".

The Cargo Theft Awareness Videos are sponsored by ShadowTrack 24/7, SouthWest Transportation Security Council (SWTSC), SouthEast Transportation Security Council (SETSC), Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition (PCSC), MidWest Cargo Security Council, and International Crisis Room 360 (ICR360).  If you haven't already registered to receive the video series on Cargo Theft Awareness, you can register using the following link:

If you have already registered you will receive video's from this series automatically in your inbox.

Thank you David Wilt for sharing your time and expertise and thank you for watching the Cargo Theft Awareness Video Series.  I hope you get a lot of value from the discussions in these videos.  If you have any questions you can reach me at


George Wheeler

Cargo Theft Awareness with JJ Coughlin

I recently had a recorded discussion with JJ Coughlin, Principal Owner of Corporate Security Solutions - Texas, Chairman of the Southwest Transportation Security Council, and Author of Cargo Crime: Security and Theft Prevention.  

JJ joined the corporate and private sector after a 21 year career with the Dallas Police Department.  He has been instrumental throughout the industry in helping people network to share information about cargo theft. During our discussion, JJ talks about:

  • What it was like coming out of the Dallas Police Department and joining corporate security as the Regional Security Manager for a Logistics Organization and not having access to the same information.
  • Who is responsible to drive the sharing of cargo theft information within the industry.
  • What can corporate security teach the law enforcement sector?
  • How do organizations such as the SouthWest Transportation Security Council benefit the industry and individual corporations?
  • How would a person or group of people start a cargo theft security council to benefit their region or country?
  • What can my organization do to prevent cargo theft?
  • What information do I need to provide the Police in the event of a cargo theft?
  • And much more

JJ is great at sharing information and provides valuable and practical information that you can use to help your organization raise awareness to cargo theft and what steps to take to prevent cargo theft from happening in your supply chain.  My favorite line from JJ during this discussion was, "If your recovery program is calling 911, you're going to have a very failed program".

The Cargo Theft Awareness Videos are sponsored by ShadowTrack 24/7, SouthWest Transportation Security Council (SWTSC), SouthEast Transportation Security Council (SETSC), Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition (PCSC), MidWest Cargo Security Council, and International Crisis Room 360 (ICR360).  If you haven't already registered to receive the video series on Cargo Theft Awareness, you can register using the following link:

If you have already registered you will receive video's from this series automatically in your inbox.

Thank you JJ Coughlin for sharing your time and expertise and thank you for watching the Cargo Theft Awareness Video Series.  I hope you get a lot of value from the discussions in these videos.  If you have any questions you can reach me at  On a side note; I have no idea what happened to my hair in this video. 


George Wheeler

Cargo Theft Awareness

When you have high value assets or ship high value cargo, you generally have a larger budget to secure these assets from loss.  Often, we think of the pharmaceutical industry or high end electronics industry as having the best supply chain security programs.

However, what if you have high demand assets or cargo in transit that has substantial risk from theft but you just don't have the budget that these larger organizations have?  Do you just accept the losses that you are experiencing and say that you cannot afford the same security programs that help mitigate the risks to their supply chains?

What if I told you that every organization in any industry can could have same security programs as the largest pharmaceutical companies or high end electronics companies.  After all, 80-90% of the best supply chain security programs involve better process, which costs very little to implement and only 10-20% is expensive hardware.  Even the hardware is only 1/10 the cost it was just 10 years ago and in some cases, you don't need to purchase hardware.

For the past year, I have been helping global companies with their crisis response planning. During that year, the number one question I get from people is, "George, how do we create a supply chain security program to protect our remote assets and our cargo in-transit, on a limited budget?"  Over the next couple of weeks I will provide a series of interviews with industry experts to help any organization improve the visibility and security of their assets and cargo in transit.

I look forward to bringing this information to the Global Community to improve the visibility and security of your domestic, regional,  assets and global supply chain.

George Wheeler, Director of Operations, 716.342.9888