Over the last decade, supply chain management has become increasingly complex. Organizations have manufacturing facilities, suppliers, and end-users spread across the globe, increasing the challenges faced when trying to protect their assets.

Pinkerton can help your organization improve supply chain risk management — especially for importers and exporters, transportation organizations, shippers, freight forwarders, and start-up global logistics firms in real-time.

  • Cargo security and high-value product escorts
  • Theft investigations and product recovery
  • Illicit trade and counterfeit investigations
  • Access control and on-site penetration testing
  • Security management program design and implementation
  • Threat, risk, and vulnerability assessments and reports
  • Compliance audits
  • Natural disaster business continuity

Expertise for navigating global supply chain risks

Our expertise and experience with supply chain risk management can provide the support you need to evaluate your vulnerabilities along the supply chain and ensure the safe transport of goods to and from multiple locations. We have a network of offices and resources throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Our global reach will help you navigate the various languages, business practices, cultures, and customs that play a role in managing your supply chain risks no matter where your supply chain begins and ends.

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Blog — Developing Supply Chain Resilience

For business leaders and decision-makers, adapting to the reality of a newly fragile and fragmented supply chain is critically important. That begins by getting a better understanding of the scale and scope of the problem and developing strategies for supply chain resilience.

Savvy business leaders have learned important lessons about what to prioritize when it comes to securing their supply chains, mitigating the impact of losses and disruptions, and safeguarding their operations.

Impacts on supply chains

Economic fluctuations, natural disasters, and geopolitical events can have significant implications for global supply chains, leading to disruptions in operations and increased costs.

Economic Instabilities: Recessions, currency fluctuations, and financial crises can affect consumer demand, capital availability, cost structures, and supplier failures.

Pandemics and Health Crises: Outbreaks like COVID-19 can cause labor shortages, shut down factories, and disrupt global shipping.

Natural Disasters and Weather Events: Geopolitical events can intersect with natural disasters or extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods, can damage infrastructure, disrupt transportation and communication networks, and affect the availability of resources, leading to supply chain disruptions.

Infrastructure Issues: Weak or damaged infrastructure, such as ports, roads, or bridges, can bottleneck the movement of goods.

Regulatory Changes: Geopolitical events, such as shifts in government policies or regulations, can introduce new compliance requirements or changes to industry standards. This can necessitate significant modifications to supply chain practices, operational processes, and documentation, causing disruptions during the transition period.

Trade Restrictions and Tariffs: Geopolitical events such as trade disputes and the imposition of tariffs can lead to the introduction of trade barriers and restrictions. This can result in increased costs, reduced market access, and disruptions to the flow of goods across borders, impacting supply chains that rely on international trade.

Border Controls and Customs Procedures: Changes in border controls, customs procedures, or immigration policies can cause delays and complications in cross-border movements. Heightened security measures, stricter documentation requirements, or shifts in import/export regulations can lengthen clearance times, leading to bottlenecks and supply chain disruptions.

Political Instability and Conflicts: Political instability, civil unrest, or armed conflicts in regions where supply chain activities are concentrated can disrupt the production, transportation, and distribution of goods. These events can lead to disruptions in the availability of raw materials, interruptions in transportation networks, closure of manufacturing facilities, and compromised security along supply routes.

Economic Sanctions: The imposition of economic sanctions by one country or group of countries against another can significantly impact supply chains. Sanctions may restrict trade, prohibit specific financial transactions, or limit access to critical resources, resulting in disruptions to supply chain operations and the availability of goods.

Counterfeit Products: Counterfeit products disrupt supply chains by flooding the market with substandard goods, undermining the reputation of legitimate brands, and causing financial losses to original manufacturers. Additionally, they can create legal liabilities, strain resources through the need for detection and enforcement activities, and endanger consumers with potentially unsafe products.

An efficient and reliable supply chain management plan — with diversified sourcing, centralized warehousing, meticulous inventory management, and sustainable relationships with suppliers — is a game changer. Not only does it lead to cost savings, it leads to customer satisfaction, giving organizations a substantial competitive edge. This is where Pinkerton can help.

Supply chain security is vital. It's not enough to simply know the threat. - Dan Alabre

title card: Cargo Theft Quick Tip

When it comes to retail supply chain security, unsecured parking and storage areas can be a problem—42% of cargo theft occurs at stores. Access control and surveillance systems are small investments for a significant level of added security.

Know Your Client and Know Your Supplier

Before entering into any business agreement or transaction, identifying potential risks is paramount. Unreliable vendors and suppliers can significantly hinder an organization's supply chain, leading to unpredictable delivery times, suboptimal product quality, and potential stockouts. The ripple effect of such unreliability may result in lost sales, damaged reputations, and strained relationships with customers who depend on the consistency and reliability of supply.

SCOUT Due Diligence assures that your prospective affiliations — including partners, buyers, sellers, suppliers, vendors, intermediaries, and transportation organizations — are in good standing and fully compliant with all regulations. This helps fortify your partnerships and ensure greater success with supply chain management.

Blog — Supply Chains and Staffing

Staffing has become a very complex area across all industries. Businesses may have warehouses full of supplies, but they may not have enough qualified essential employees. How can organizations adapt to this new supply chain staffing reality?

Business leaders need to become proactive. And this means they may need to implement new supply chain risk management practices and update existing policies for brand protection, logistics and shipping, and recruiting and hiring practices.

The Pinkerton Difference

Supply chain security doesn’t always refer to just the transportation of products — it also includes production methods, raw material sources, and more. With so many areas of risk, a threat to one area of production could adversely affect business continuity — potentially impacting your company’s bottom line and brand reputation.

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Pinkerton’s History of Protecting Supply Chains and High-Value Assets

For more than 170 years, organizations have come to Pinkerton for effective supply chain risk management strategies and security. From the early days of the U.S. interstate railroads and masked hold-up men, we’ve been there to help organizations protect their business operations and secure their supply chains.

Pinkertons were among the first protective agents to “ride shotgun” on the Wells Fargo wagons in the American West during the late 19th century. In true Pinkerton fashion, the agent’s role was to keep a vigilant eye out for thieves and bandits as the stagecoach traversed dangerous territories. Of course, they carried shotguns as they defended the stagecoach, its occupants, and valuable cargo — which often included gold, currency, supplies, sundries, or mail.

Pinkertons were among the first protective agents to “ride shotgun” on the Wells Fargo wagons in the American West.

During World War I, the Pinkertons actively protected American docks, safeguarding precious cargo and supply chains from agents of unfriendly powers.

Department stores burgeoned in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s, and so did crime. In addition to the Agency’s regular protective work, Pinkerton investigators were frequently called by department stores that showed irregularities and inventory shortages. Operatives discovered gaps and vulnerabilities in supply chains, business operations, and collusive practices at all levels from managers to buyers, clerks, vendors, and delivery drivers.

In the 1930s, Pinkerton operatives often accompanied traveling jewelry salesmen who delivered expensive wares to prospective clients. Operatives also were retained by armored truck services to ensure the safe delivery of currency and other valuables.

In the late 1930s into the 1940s, operatives, or watchmen, continued the efforts they started during the first World War at the docks to protect supply chains. They also worked closely with shipmasters to safeguard secret or confidential war information that was carried aboard cargo and transport ships. In 1938, it was discovered that highly confidential information shared with captains of British ships had become widely known along the entire East Coast of South America within a short period. This breach was eventually linked to an indiscreet conversation that took place at a dinner table on board one of the vessels.

To ensure the security of the legendary 45.52-carat Hope Diamond at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto in 1958, organizers brought in Pinkerton’s specialty high-value protection agents. They employed a combination of tried-and-true methods and cutting-edge technology to safeguard the Hope Diamond.

The Pinkertons were pivotal in the secure transportation of over $32 billion worth of stocks and bonds to the Chase Manhattan Bank's new vault in 1961, ensuring the assets were moved discreetly amidst the bustle of the Wall Street area during regular banking hours. Their strategic use of unmarked trucks and specially designed, inconspicuous mobile trunks, along with plain-clothed armed guards, facilitated a successful transfer without the public ever knowing.

When Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was loaned to the United States from the Louvre in Paris, France in 1962-63, Pinkertons were entrusted with escorting the priceless — and fragile — painting across the Atlantic Ocean.

In the 1960s, Pinkerton’s Research and Development (R&D) department played a crucial role in harnessing the power of technology to fight crime. While experienced security personnel were (and still are) the foundation of the Agency, the future, they predicted, was innovation and technology. The challenge was that with every new security device developed, there were new attempts to circumvent it.

And that meant the Agency was in a race to keep ahead of whatever the bad actors developed – especially when it came to supply chain management — and building enduring client relationships to mitigate risk and meet their new challenges. While we would love to share all the details with you, the Agency’s official policy when it comes to our clients is either silence or “No comment”, with no acknowledgement of recognition or interaction.

We can share with you that we continue to provide world-class supply chain management services to our clients.

When an electronics organization lost millions of dollars in computer microchip inventory, Pinkerton embedded investigators to find where the supply chain was being disrupted. These embedded SMEs discovered a gap — a physical gap — in the manufacturing facility’s security system that allowed a small team of employees to hide microchips where they could later retrieve them without alerting security personnel or access control systems.

In the early 2010s, Pinkerton was tasked with investigating the theft of a client’s cargo container contents. Their high-value merchandise was replaced with sandbags of the exact weight of the original cargo during shipment from China to the United States. Upon a meticulous investigation, Pinkerton's team found a significant delay during the truck transit to the China port and evidence of tampering — the thieves cleverly lifted the doors off the container without breaking its seal. Following their findings, the client implemented new supply chain management procedures to closely monitor shipping activities, preventing such issues in the future.

Pinkerton's team found a significant delay during the truck transit to the China port and evidence of tampering.

More recently, an organization responsible for transporting a consumable product with a high resale value on the black market was regularly being robbed on the way to a distribution center. Pinkerton protection agents were assigned to escort the cargo — presenting a highly visible presence and using alternate routes. With the Pinkerton on the job, the robberies stopped and the cargo made it safely to the distribution center.

More Than Supply Chain and High-Value Asset Protection

When you partner with us, we provide a range of protection, advisory, and investigative services to best serve your unique needs. Whether it is identifying potential risks, designing response and contingency plans, or deploying agents to protect your assets in the wake of natural disasters, we are here to assist you and your organization end-to-end.

The next step for supply chain protection

Need more information on how our supply chain solution can work for you? Fill out the form below to have us contact you. 

Taking the next step to long-term solutions

Enhance your organization’s security culture, anticipate and adapt to emerging threats, and strengthen your Supply Chain Risk Management program with Pinkerton Embedded Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).

  • Supply chain intelligence analysts
  • Logistics and supply chain security managers
  • Investigators
  • Protection teams
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Protect Your Supply Chain

Get expert support to mitigate risks along your supply chain with Pinkerton comprehensive solutions.

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