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Cargo Crime: Security Theft and Prevention

Cargo Crime: Security and Theft Prevention. By J. J. Coughlin. CRC Press;; 266 pages; $69.95; also available as e-book.

Cargo crime has significant criminal and financial impact on businesses and the economy. In Cargo Crime: Security and Prevention, author J.J. Coughlin offers his extensive industry experience to enlighten the audience on the many forms of cargo crime, its actors, and its impact. Not a how-to manual on techniques to prevent cargo theft, this book instead focuses on how stakeholders can use communication and collaboration to combat the problem.

The book effectively describes the basics of cargo crime. It illustrates how these crimes are committed, as well as the financial ramifications and losses experienced by logistics provid­ers and other supply-chain related businesses. The author takes the position that security and theft prevention require an understanding of the issues, countermeasures, best practices, and emerging technology, which can then be shared with others in the industry. Developing and maintaining the support of law enforcement agencies is critical. Without the cooperation of law enforcement, even the most robust security measures and protocols will fall short of catching and eliminating thieves that prey on the supply chain.

Drawing on my own experience in cargo, logistics, and supply-chain security, I agree that the need to share cargo crime information with others in the industry and work with law enforcement is of utmost importance. This book is a good source of information for an experienced security professional who has not had a great deal of experience with cargo crime. It also affords entry-level security professionals insight into a field that needs a lot more attention from the security profession.

One critique is that the author spends too much of the book describing his own experiences. The section on insurance strays from the topic of theft prevention. That said, the security and anti-theft topics are significant. Other references to cargo theft task forces and other related industry groups provide the reader with viable sources of additional information gathering and sharing.

The glossary is an added value to those who are generally unaware of or unfamiliar with the handling and movement of cargo.

Reviewer: Art Arway, CPP, has an extensive background in law enforcement, as well as broad cargo, logistics, and supply chain security experience leading security programs for global providers of freight forwarding, logistics, and transportation.