Protecting against cargo theft, once a secondary concern to shippers and carriers, is now an intrinsic part of doing business. Keeping a trailer or container locked is, of course, the easiest way to keep thieves out. Dozens of locks and seals are available to help companies do just that, with new, high-tech options rapidly hitting the market.
The transport and logistics sector in the UK is under attack and road freight crime is costing the UK economy a staggering £250 million every year according to a Home Office report of Lorry Crime Prevention. As more high-value goods move through the supply chain the problem is expected to escalate. The cargo security industry, once limited to basic padlocks, has expanded to include a wide array of mechanical seals and locks of varying strengths.
Cargo Seal Types and Benefits
Metal seals are available in two different forms—indicative seals and barrier seals. Made of plastic or thin strips of metal, indicative seals change shape or composition when tampered with, giving you clear evidence of unauthorised entry to cargo. An indicative seal may show a “blush mark” or white stripe, for instance, in the area that has been tampered with. The most basic option for locking containers and trailers are indicative seals, which are usually inexpensive and provide a minimum level of tamper security.
The most prominent barrier seal types are bolt seals and cable seals which are made in varying tensile strengths and diameters. As a general rule of thumb, the thicker the seal diameter, the stronger the seal. A high-security seal usually has a diameter of about 3mm or more, and offers a greater degree of security.
In order to be classified as high-security and used to secure freight containers in international commerce, seals must meet a series of physical strength requirements set by the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Upon U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issuing their now standard regulation (ISO 17712), it became mandatory for shippers and carriers to secure cargo according to these minimum specifications for high-security.
JW Products conforms to ISO17712 industry standards and our company’s 3.5mm metal cable seal, which secures container and trailer hardware as well as their keeper bars, was approved by HMRC as a Class 1 Barrier Seal and listed on the government website as a recommended seal for border transport. The cable seal is applied by threading the metal cable through trailer doors or container handles and then inserted back inside the locking mechanism to secure the seal. In order to remove, wire cutters are required to cut through the wire and release the seal from the cargo lock entirely.