Prevent crime in intermodal transport: 3 tips from DHL

Prevent crime in intermodal transport: 3 tips from DHL
Customer case

DHL Supply Chain

DHL Supply Chain recently opened a new intermodal link between Slovakia and the UK for the transportation of high-value goods. A secure connection starts with effective locks. But that’s only part of the story. Read on quickly to find out how you can prevent crime in intermodal transport even more.

1. Choose a well-cecured terminal

“At the moment, everything is still manageable”, says Veermani Singh, Multimodal Product Manager at DHL Supply Chain. “We currently transport three trailers of high-value goods per week from Slovakia to the UK. The consignments are transported by road from Mitra in Slovakia to the WienCont terminal in Vienna, where the goods are unloaded from the truck onto the train. The terminal is a non-stop operation which means that we can unload freight there at any time. The Terminal guarantees that there is always a high level of security which is extremely important to us.

“The freight train to Rotterdam departs daily at 18.00. Our trailers arrive at the terminal as close as possible to the departure time for loading them on the train,” explains Matej Koči, Carrier and Transport Solution Coordinator at DHL Logistics. “In any case, the waiting time is never more than one day.” From Vienna, the unescorted trailers are transported by train to Rotterdam where they are taken by ferry to the port of Purfleet in London. “There they are picked up by a local contractor for DHL and the freight is transported to its final destination.”


"Given the distance, the client’s wishes and the fact that part of the journey was unaccompanied, we opted for extra secure box trailers. These have mechanical and electronic SBS locks as well as a GPS tracker."

Matej Koči | Carrier and Transport Solution Coördinator at DHL Logistics

2. Secure your box trailer with electronic locks and GPS tracker

“The bulk of the cargo consists of televisions. Other transport companies often put them on a curtainsider. Because of the distance, the requirements of the customer and the fact that part of the journey is unescorted, we choose extra secure box trailers. In addition to mechanical SBS Turtle lock and the electronic SBS BDI lock, they are also fitted with other equipment, including a GPS tracker. This enables us to track a consignment 24/7 in real time. That way, we ensure the highest possible level of security.”

3. Work according to a Tight protocol

Matej Koči has to get shipments to their destination without hickups. "The fact that we drive a secure box trailer definitely helps," he says. "But because a variable is added with the ferry, there is still a higher risk despite the physical security." Singh agrees. "Apart from physical security, good protocol is at least as important. If something goes wrong, it is usually due to human actions."

"That is why Koči makes sure all drivers are screened and certified. They also have strict rules according to which route they drive and where they are allowed to stop. This is done only in secure pre-screened car parks. And in case of an unplanned stop, the driver must immediately report it to the security centre." 

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