As a shipping agent, how do you protect your vehicles and cargo from stowaways?

In spite of all the measures taken, the risk of ‘stowaways’ remains. Attempts by migrants to get to the UK by hiding in trucks have become a regular occurrence. For instance, the German police recently found 31 migrants in the loading space of a refrigerated truck. Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) is even predicting a strong increase in the number of migrants after COVID-19. And what is going to happen when more stringent customs checks come into force at the end of this year due to Brexit? This is bound to lead to long queues outside the gates to ferry terminals which will make it even easier for stowaways to climb on board vehicles. As a shipping agent, it is a good idea to be prepared for this.

In order to help shipping agents protect against stowaways, we have worked with TLN (the Dutch trade association Transport en Logistiek Nederland) to produce a white paper on the problem. Because knowing about the stowaway problem and fitting better locks to the rear doors of vehicles can reduce the risk of stowaways.

White paper on stowaways

This white paper on stowaways will keep you, as a shipping agent, up-to-date with the problem as a whole. It will tell you what methods are being used by stowaways and what the consequences are. The white paper also describes the measures that authorities and ferry companies have taken to protect against stowaways and how you, as a shipping agent, can make shipment to the UK that little bit simpler and more secure. The white paper also addresses matters such as insurance, the correct way to apply the Code of Practice and what you should do if you find stowaways in your vehicle.

Code of Practice

It is important to observe the Code of Practice at all times. Manually keeping this vehicle checklist up-to-date alone requires rather a lot of time and discipline on the part of the driver. Things therefore often go wrong in practice, with all the consequences that this entails. Current technological developments are making it easier and safer to check the vehicle and the security measures.

Elektronical lock

When you, the shipping agent, require additional assurance or want to make things easy for the driver, an electronic lock is the ideal solution. The logistical planning service will decide who may open which lock and when. You can then read afterwards on the lock when it has been opened. An example of such a lock is the SBS BDI.

Telematic lock solutions

Telematic lock solutions are available for transport companies which transport valuable or vulnerable cargo. These enable you to keep track of the condition of your cargo in real time. For a trailer, this could be a lock with extra (infrared) sensors and alarms on the inside, such as the SBS INLOCK. For a container, this could be an SBS E-Containerguard with trackers on the cargo. This allows you to prove afterwards that no-one has interfered with the cargo, thereby preventing the losses that would be incurred on account of a cargo being refused.

Further information?

Do you still have questions after reading the white paper on stowaways? Or would like more information on how you can protect your trailer, container or cargo against stowaways? Contact our specialists. They will be happy to help you.

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