As businesses have moved more of their operations online, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, this shift has brought about some great benefits but also new risks. In the world of shipping and logistics, these risks are especially noticeable. With everything going digital so quickly, it's become easier for criminals to try new ways to commit fraud.
In the past, stealing cargo directly was a common crime in this industry. Now, we see more clever tricks like fake identities and phishing (where criminals trick people into giving them information). There's been a huge increase in these kinds of thefts, with losses reaching about $223 million. But this number might even be higher, as companies often don't report these incidents to avoid looking bad.
There are two main ways criminals are causing trouble in the digital world of shipping:
Fake Identities: It's become simpler to create a believable fake identity thanks to better technology. Criminals use these fake identities to pretend they are legitimate shipping companies, tricking others into sending them goods that they then steal.
Stealing Parts of Shipments: This is about taking just a part of the cargo, which can be hard to notice. Criminals pretend to be real shipping companies and subtly steal parts of the shipment during transport.
To fight these problems, businesses need to use a mix of smart tactics:
Checking Who You're Working With: It's important to make sure that the shipping companies you're dealing with are who they say they are. This means looking into their background and making sure they have the right licenses.
Using Technology for Safety: Things like GPS tracking and special sensors can help keep an eye on shipments. This way, businesses can quickly know if something seems wrong, like a shipment going off its planned route.
Relying on Experienced Staff: Even with all the technology, it's important to have experienced people who can spot when something doesn't look right. They can catch things that computers might miss.
In the long run, companies working together can make a big difference in stopping these criminals. Sharing information and working as a team can help everyone stay one step ahead of these new tricks. As criminals get smarter, it's important for businesses to work together and use both technology and human smarts to keep their shipments safe.