Phone: 888.645.2299 (Toll-Free USA)
Security of Warehouses and Distribution Centers
Like this article?
Visit our Security Tips page for more than 60 additional articles on a variety of topics related to physical security
Follow us on Twitter to be notified when new Security Tips are published
Did You Know?
Silva Consultants is an independent security consulting firm and does not sell security equipment or products
Silva Consultants can assist you in the design and planning of an effective security program and in the selection of security products and services
Please contact us for further assistance
Warehouses and distribution centers are frequent targets of burglary, theft and pilferage. These facilities contain lots of new merchandise in its original packaging, something that is highly-desirable to both professional and amateur thieves.
The large quantity of merchandise in most warehouses also brings out an emotional feeling within many people that suggests: "Wow, there are so many of these items, they won't miss just one…". This feeling can sometimes tempt people who otherwise wouldn't think of themselves as criminals.
Warehouses are subject to both internal and external theft. Internal thefts are committed by company employees, contractors, and other "insiders" who have a legitimate reason to be in the warehouse at certain times. External thefts are committed by "outsiders"- people outside of the company who have no legitimate need to be in the warehouse and are coming to the facility specifically to steal.
Truck drivers and other types of delivery service drivers can pose a specific security risk. Some drivers have gotten into the habit of stealing from their customers when making a pick-up or delivery, and consider this to be a justifiable "fringe benefit" given the inadequate wages that they feel they are making. Drivers are often allowed to wander freely while their trailer is being loaded or unloaded and can use this opportunity to gather up items that they wish to steal. It is often easy to place additional items into the trailer after it has been loaded, or to place stolen items into the cab of the truck unnoticed.
Along the same lines, many warehouse employees feel that they are underpaid and underappreciated, and look at stealing from the warehouse as a way to supplement their income and to get back at their employer at the same time. There are variety of ways in which warehouse employees can steal: some simply load merchandise into their car during the day; others place merchandise in trash bins and come back later to retrieve it; and still others may pack merchandise into a box and ship it to themselves using a bogus address that they have established just for this purpose.
Sometimes, dishonest warehouse employees work in conjunction with dishonest truck drivers to steal from the company. This can be a particularly dangerous combination: the warehouse employee has knowledge of what's coming and going, can plant stolen merchandise in outgoing shipments, and can modify paperwork to cover his tracks - while the truck driver has the means to remove the merchandise from the warehouse. Collusion between warehouse employees and truck drivers is a big problem in some industries and is responsible for multiple millions of dollars of losses each year.
Here are a few suggestions for providing good security at warehouses and distribution centers:
If you need help in improving security at your warehouse or distribution center, please contact us.
(Also see related article Security of Trailers and Shipping Containers at Warehouses and Distribution Centers )