Aside from improving the security practices of your partners, this helps "socialize" security with your partners so that, in due time, this will be commonly recognized as an important central business function-rather than a secluded auxiliary compliance or cost-reduction subgroup. In practice, this upstream and downstream collaboration should include contractual requirements for secure systems, with a logistics "standards of care" defining security conditions for shipment movements. Ideally, these "standards of care" are developed together by shippers and carriers to take best advantage of their relative expertise and interests. For example, specific low-theft routes may be defined for specific product movements, with stops limited to previously-approved high-security locations for limited periods of time. As the saying goes, freight at rest is freight at risk; so these standards often call for limiting stops and downtime on freight hauls.
Collaboration in securing the supply network should also extend to include law enforcement officials in security planning, simulation training and drilling, and incident investigation. Groups such as the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Cargo Criminal Apprehension Team (popularly known as the Cargo CATS) work with the various parties handling and responsible for cargo-including insurers-to reduce theft, recover stolen cargo, and develop critical information to increase conviction rates and inform the public about the risks. Additionally, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) runs several programs and initiatives, which are mentioned in the next section, to increase cargo security in conjunction with industry, offering faster customs clearance rates for those participating in the programs.
In the course of studying security practices of the most progressive industrial firms, we have observed four different levels of response that outline a progressive pathway towards a high-functioning, secure, and resilient security system.
Our studies also indicate that there are several different paths to the same end objective. While there is no one path that is optimal for all, firms may find this useful as a stepping stone to compare progress against and to guide future system development. While these observations will not guarantee results, they appear to be the practices that leaders adopt and therefore warrant study and potential reapplication to those interested in learning from leaders.