Section B – Security guidance for the truck drivers | Chapter 1

General security

The first chapter of this guidebook highlights some 20 key advise to minimize the risk of security incidents with thieves, stowaways or terrorists, in the freight transport sector. By following systematically these advice, you should be able to avoid already more than 50% of potential security problems, while carrying out the important work in the European and global logistics chains:

Secure your vehicle and cargo, according to the company security policies and instructions.

  • Be fully aware and familiar with your company overall security and customer level (shipment) obligations to secure your truck and cargo.
  • Be fully competent on all security features and devices within your truck including:
    • the panic alarm,
    • vehicle immobilizer,
    • telematics,
    • locks and seals; and,
    • tracking devices.

Conduct visual checks around the truck, before departure and upon arrival.

  • Always make sure that your vehicle is physically fit for purpose prior to commencing any journey, by conducting a visual check of the tractor and the trailer, verifying that the cargo contained within is secured and that there are no obvious mechanical anomalies.
  • Check for evidence of damage, tampering or unauthorized access attempts after every stop to verify that the load is safe from theft or stowaways.

Communicate revised journey plans or changing situations with the back office.

  • Never change the route of your planned journey unless absolutely necessary.
  • In case you are required to revise your planned route due to unforeseen circumstances, including force majeure, always inform your back office in a proactive manner.

Do not change your delivery address without approval from the back office.

  • The delivery address of your shipment is provided to you by your company / back office at the commencement of the journey.
  • Under no circumstances should your delivery address be changed during transit unless this is directly communicated to you by your company / back office.

Do not communicate route or load details publicly, across social media or to persons unknown to you.

  • Do not communicate or announce any aspect of your client, route, cargo, or destination across social media, radio or in any public place.
  • Criminals and thieves may be monitoring social media and radio communications in order to opportunistically target the loads.

Use only pre-approved, well-lit parking lots.

  • As a minimum, use only well-lit and well-established parking areas, which are often highly frequented motor services stations used by other truck drivers along main routes.

Keep your mobile phone fully charged, with important phone numbers stored in it.

  • Always know in advance the phone numbers of who to contact in the case of a security incident or emergency along your route.
  • Make sure you know how to contact and coordinate with local police if a crime occurs.

Keep doors locked and windows closed.

  • Ensure you keep doors locked and windows closed at all times while driving or stopped so that thieves, stowaways or terrorists will not have an easy entry into your cabin to compromise your safety and security – whether you are driving or while stopped.

Keep your truck keys secure and always with you.

  • Take care to secure your truck keys at all times; never leave them unattended or for them to be easily identified and associated with your truck.

Keep your ID cards and wallet secure and out of sight.

  • Ensure that your ID and wallet are safe and secure at all times so that thieves and stowaways cannot steal your ID and/or money, thereby compromising your journey and shipment.

Do not leave freight documents visible in your truck / cabin.

  • Ensure that your freight documents are safe and secure so that thieves cannot identify the contents of your load.

Be aware that thieves might be breaking into your truck while moving.

  • Be mindful of any slow-moving vehicles positioning themselves in front of your truck to cause you to reduce your speed.
  • Cargo thieves are also known to break into trucks and steal cargo even when driving full speed on a motorway.

Be aware of the risk of attempts to deceive you [such as bogus police and staged accidents, and the risk of fake documents and bogus warehouse workers].

  • Always be alert to the risk of bogus police or staged accidents
  • Verify the bona fide of the police by requesting their ID while still in the cabin.
  • In the case of an obvious staged accident, drive to the closest secure parking location, notify your back office and police authorities to validate the situation.
  • Your cargo may be at risk due to deception associated with fake documents and bogus warehouse workers who may deceive you to hand over your shipment at unmarked premises, typically near the delivery location.

Be wary of stopping, giving lifts to or accepting offers from anyone you do not know.

  • Do not be targeted by unknown persons to you who may attempt to stop and befriend you as part of their ploy to rob you.
  • Do not stop or give lifts to anyone you do not know.
  • Similarly, do not accept drinks or food from unknown persons who may be surreptitiously trying to drug you so as to steal your cargo.

Inform the authorities and the management of any security incidents immediately.

  • All security issues and incidents related to the integrity of your vehicle and/or cargo should be immediately reported to the local police and to your back office.

At all times, stay safe and secure, while avoiding being provoked into confrontations.

  • Do not be antagonized or provoked into confrontational situations by thieves or stowaways as these situations may undermine your safety.

At all times, comply with local laws and regulations, including transport safety and personal safety.

  • It is imperative that your personal safety and the integrity of your cargo are foremost in your mind during your journey. This can be achieved by complying with local laws and regulations.

Section B – Security guidance for the truck drivers | Chapter 2


Being well-prepared for each journey forms a cornerstone in effective and efficient freight transport security management, that goes without saying. You as a truck driver should follow this set of good security practices in order to mitigate the risk of theft, stowaways or terrorism during the later phases of your journey:

Obtain available security instructions from your back office, including any customer / load specific instructions.

  • Prior to commencing your journey, ask your back office planner or your manager if you are in doubt about any security instructions related to your load / shipment.

Plan your route before you start your journey, and decide where you are going to have stopovers and where to park overnight.

  • Familiarize yourself with the entire route in order to minimize any security problems.
  • Online resources are available to support the planning.

It is important that the exact delivery time and location of your shipment is agreed with the end destination, in advance of commencing your journey.

  • In the event that you arrive early or are unable to meet the delivery deadline at the end destination, you should have an agreed alternative safe harbor location where you can wait for your delivery time slot.

Ensure that you adhere to your company or customer agreed No-Stop-Zones.

  • In case any deviations, communicate immediately to the back office.

Pre-book a lot at a secure parking place, if possible.

  • Secure parking is a well-lit parking area, which as a minimum has dedicated security barrier, perimeter fencing and CCTV coverage.
  • Be aware that the supply of pre-bookable secure parking lots is limited across Europe.

Avoid high-risk routes or routes where you need to drive slowly or make many stops.

  • High risk routes contain known hot spots where cargo crime regularly takes place or where stowaways are frequently active.
  • Stops and slow speed make you an easier target for any offenders.

Plan stopovers a considerable distance from high-risk border crossings or ports.

  • There is an increased risk of stowaways entering your truck when you are close to border terminals.
  • When at a border crossing you should only stop where requested by authorities.

Make sure that all security related devices and features in your truck function properly.

  • Typical security related devices include: the panic alarm, vehicle immobilizer, telematics, locks and seals and tracking devices.

In case a security check-list is mandated by your company, fill it in.

  • A company specific security check-list can be built upon this ROADSEC truck driver security toolkit.


Section B – Security guidance for the truck drivers | Chapter 3


The areas around the origin site and pickup location can often be an area of vulnerability. You should consider the following security recommendations at the pickup point to reduce the risk of interference with your cargo while it is in transit:

Secure the cabin and remove the keys from the ignition.

  • Consider also turning off the engine during the loading.

Oversee loading to ensure that cargo is not missing or damaged and that there are no suspicious onlookers.

  • Check that cargo matches transport documents (type, quantity and possibly weight).
  • Inform your back office about any deviations or irregularities.
  • Observe for suspicious onlookers watching the loading.
  • Ensure that no unauthorized individuals enter your vehicle.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the back office.
  • Note: ”Oversee loading” does not apply when picking up preloaded semitrailers or when overseeing is not allowed by the shipper / customer.

Check that correct security seal numbers are written on the transportation documents.

  • In case written numbers are illegible on the documentation, contact the back office.

Check padlocks, seals, TIR cords and canvas for damage, right after loading.

  • Physically check that padlocks are locked, seals are secure on doors, TIR cords are operational, and the canvas is undamaged.

Check that your navigation system finds the delivery address and make sure that you have the shippers and receivers phone numbers.

  • Prior to departing the pick-up location ensure that the delivery address is fully confirmed.

Be particularly vigilant when leaving the pickup point as cargo thieves may try to follow you and target your load.

  • Cargo thieves may try to attach a tracker on your truck as part of their effort to track your journey.
  • If you believe you are being followed, keep driving, inform the back office, call the police, and try to get to a secure place.


Section B – Security guidance for the truck drivers | Chapter 4


While driving to your destination it is imperative that you remain alert to your surroundings at all times. Be aware that criminals are also capable of stealing your cargo while the truck is in motion – even in full speed – thus you should be aware of any suspicious activity around your truck:

While driving, keep all doors locked, and windows up.

  • Cargo thieves, stowaways or terrorists may try to enter the vehicle, particularly when moving in slow speed, but also when moving in high speeds.

Keep a reasonable distance from vehicles in front of you so that you have the ability to maneuver the truck quickly if needed.

  • Cargo thieves, stowaways or terrorists may try to force you to stop, for example by driving cars in front and behind your truck.

Watch out for vehicles that may be following your truck.

  • If you suspect you are actually being followed, stay calm and inform the police and the back office.
  • Do not speed or otherwise compromise traffic safety.

If you are accompanied by a team driver or a driver’s assistant, ask him to monitor mirrors and camera systems to detect suspicious activities while you are driving.

  • Pay attention to the mandatory rest periods, which may override this advice.

Do not pick-up passengers unknown to you.

  • If you do pick-up unknown persons, there is a risk that these persons may be involved in cargo theft, stowaway smuggling or perhaps terrorism.


Section B – Security guidance for the truck drivers | Chapter 5


As cargo theft often takes place during driver breaks and overnight stops, it is important that you only stop at pre-approved, well-lit and secure parking areas. Please note that the risk of cargo theft as well as stowaway entry is high at public rest areas, laybys and parking lots, thus you should be guided by the following recommendations:

Avoid stops close to origin and destination points of your journey.

  • Cargo thieves are known to be active around industrial areas or distribution centers from where cargo moves.
  • In addition, refuel the truck and buy snacks or other supplies before the start of the journey, if possible.

You should stop only at secure locations, those which are preapproved, well-lit or known to be secure.

  • Online services such as Truck Parking Europe and TRANSPark can guide you to find secure parking locations across Europe.

If you have to leave your vehicle, park your truck where you are in a position to observe it.

  • Plan to be in a position to observe your truck so as to ensure that no one attempts to interfere with it.
  • If possible, ask a person you can trust to watch your truck.

If you must stop outside a secure parking area, keep the break as short as possible.

  • Inform the back office when and where you are stopping.
  • Avoid isolated, dark, or poorly lit areas with few other trucks.

If possible park your truck with the loading doors against another vehicle, a wall or a building.

  • This parking configuration makes it more difficult for thieves to access your cargo.

If you must stop when approaching a border crossing or ferry terminal, consider parking your truck facing the opposite direction or on the other side of the highway.

  • Parking in this way may make potential stowaways think that you are driving away from the border they want to cross, not towards it, thus minimizing the stowaway risk with our truck.

When you exit the cabin, close windows, lock doors, activate security devices, and always take the keys with you.

  • Leave your truck unattended for as short time as possible.
  • Activate trailer immobilization device (if available) when you drop trailer.
  • Check locks, seals, and security devices before and after every stop and report any evidence of tampering to the back office.

Before resuming your journey, look for any signs of damage, tampering or unauthorized entry.

  • Check all security devices are intact and undamaged; if there is evidence of tampering or unauthorized entry immediately inform the back office and call the police.
  • When you enter your cabin, lock doors immediately behind you.

If resting or sleeping in your cabin, consider keeping the windows fully closed.

  • Keeping windows fully closed makes it more difficult for thieves or terrorists to insert a tube with anesthetic gasses.

Use common sense in cafes, restaurants and pubs – do not accept drinks from strangers or leave your drink unguarded.

  • Be aware that thieves may attempt to target you and compromise you while you are stopped at a restaurant.
  • Unknown persons may surreptitiously try to interfere with your food and drink to drug you so as to steal your cargo and/or vehicle.


Section B – Security guidance for the truck drivers | Chapter 6

Control zones

Border crossings, seaports, and other controlled zones are security sensitive areas where special rules apply for vehicles and transported goods. When entering a controlled zone with your truck you should be aware that customs and other border control agencies may inspect your vehicle, cargo and/or transport documents. At the same time, you should be aware that criminals and stowaways may also operate in this area and you should therefore consider the following security advice when entering a control zone:

In the event that you are required to wait for Customs clearance or other border formalities outside of the control zone, go to the nearest secure parking place and contact the back office.

  • Having a predetermined safe harbor location in the vicinity of the control zone ensures that you can proceed quickly to a secure location, eliminating risk and uncertainty while you wait for your slot to cross the border.

If your trailer or container is resealed by Customs officers, document the new seal number and communicate it to your back office.

  • Take a time stamped photo of the new security seal.
  • Ensure the integrity of the seal and that it has been properly affixed.

Please follow these special instructions at high-risk border crossings, for example before embarking on a ferry or rail shuttle to the UK and from North African harbors to Europe.

Physically check the fabric, roof and security devices of the vehicle

  • If there is evidence of damage, tampering or unauthorized access, if possible take a time-stamped photo of the evidence and call the police and your back office.
  • Carefully check the panniers, wind deflectors and axles as stowaways may be concealed.
  • Check seal numbers and re-apply security devices

Consider conducting a thorough manual check of the load and cargo space.

  • This is particularly important if you were not able to secure your vehicle throughout the full journey.

Determine whether someone has tampered or gained access to your vehicle.

  • Take a time-stamped photo of any evidence of tampering.
  • Report it immediately to competent authorities and your back office.
  • Do not investigate yourself or put yourself in any kind of danger.

If agreed with your management, record the checks made on your checklist.

  • This could cover checks undertaken at loading, after every stop and before entering the control zone.


Section B – Security guidance for the truck drivers | Chapter 7

Forced stops

A forced stop is defined as impromptu stop along a route conducted by police or other competent authorities who are carrying out control and inspecting activities. However, there is a risk that criminals can impersonate police officers, construct road blocks and do whatever they can to deceive truck drivers to stop and to steal their load. You should be guided by the following recommendations so as not to be fooled by criminals to get you to stop:

If stopped by police officers, only open cabin window after officers have showed their badges.

  • Immediately inform the back office and keep an open line of communications to the back office until police officers have proven their identity.
  • If you feel confident with officers’ IDs, follow their instructions.
  • If your suspect that bogus officers are trying to stop you, call the police and your back office.
  • Always stay safe, and never resist.

If the police direct you to a police station, activate security devices and ensure that your truck and cargo are guarded while you are away from the cabin.

  • Inform the back office that you are proceeding to the police station, giving them details of the location.

If you have any doubt concerning the authenticity of officers or any vehicle attempting to stop you, stay in your cabin with the engine running, and request to be escorted to the nearest police station.

  • Stay in your cabin and keep your windows and doors locked.
  • Inform the back office that you have been stopped.
  • Do not do anything that would put you at risk.


Section B – Security guidance for the truck drivers | Chapter 8

Change in journey plan

From time-to-time it may be necessary to change an original journey plan due to an unforeseen event along the route such as a traffic accident, a major roadworks or flooding, among other possible causes. Any change to an original journey plan must be communicated immediately to the back office outlining the new route, revised schedule and stopover locations, as applicable. Consider the following recommendations to make sure that any change to the original plan does not expose you to unnecessary security risks:

Avoid changing the journey plan which you have planned.

  • If you must change your originally planned journey / route, inform the back office about the new route, revised schedule, stopover locations and any expected delays.

Be skeptical on any requests to change of delivery address.

  • Be aware that cargo thieves may mislead you to deliver goods to a wrong address.
  • Call the back office to confirm the change.

If you get lost, keep calm and try to determine your location yourself.

  • Call the back office.
  • Only then ask passers-by to tell you your location (rather than directions).
  • Note that opportunistic cargo thieves may use your situation to guide you to an unsecure location.


Section B – Security guidance for the truck drivers | Chapter 9

Crime suspicion or incident

Despite taking all the necessary security precautions, criminals may still target the cargo in your truck. In the event that you witness a theft or suspect that thieves, stowaways or terrorists may be targeting you, it is recommended that you immediately call the police, inform your back office and follow these recommendations:

If someone is stealing from your truck, do not leave the safety of the cabin. Lock the doors, start the engine, switch on the lights, and sound the horn to attract attention.

  • Immediately call the police and inform the back office.
  • Push in-vehicle panic button if you are in danger and there is a safe chance to do so.

If you believe you are being hijacked, try to keep your truck moving.

  • Immediately call police and inform the back office.
  • Push in-vehicle panic button if you are in danger and there is a safe chance to do so.

If confronted by thieves or stowaways, stay calm and avoid engaging with them, while not provoking confrontation.

  • Stay in your cabin.
  • Inform police and back office.
  • Try to drive / escape to a safe location.
  • Resort to self-defense only if you cannot run away or if the offender threatens your or someone else’s life.
  • Drivers should not subject themselves to the risk of criminal proceedings for mistreatment of stowaways or criminals

Observe situation, try to memorize as many details as possible and make notes on the incident situation as soon as you are safe.

  • Support investigators as much as you can.
  • Your eyewitness testimony may help the police to investigate the crime and provide evidence for the prosecution.

Report crime incidents to the back office and the police as soon as possible.

  • It should be noted that theft, crime or a security incident should be reported to the local police in the location where the incident took place (instead of at the final destination).

Ask the back office if you should contact insurance company.

  • Insurance experts may help you to reduce further damages and proceed with insurance claim.


Section B – Security guidance for the truck drivers | Chapter 10


The area in the vicinity of your delivery destination can often be an area of risk and security vulnerability as criminals target your arrival. The following security guidelines are recommended prior to completing delivery of your shipment:

Inform the consignee in advance about a change in the delivery time, either early or delayed, either directly or through the back office.

  • The sooner the consignee knows about changed delivery time delivery, the quicker a revised unloading slot can be organized and the less time truck is exposed to theft outside the consignee’s premises.

Deliver only to consignee and delivery address written in transportation documents.

  • Make no exceptions without approval from the back office.

Confirm that consignee is the correct one and ask for identification.

  • When making the delivery to a location or warehouse at a destination which does not show the name of the company, ensure that the load is handed over to the correctly identified assignee.

If available, follow a map and instructions received from the receiving company.

  • When making a delivery, it is critical that a shipment is delivered to the correct location. If the delivery address location is not clear for you, obtain a map and instructions from the receiving company to ensure accurate reception.

Inspect seals for signs of tampering before the removal. Pull and twist standard band seals. Check that bolt seals spin freely in barrels and they have no glue on them.

  • To ensure the integrity of the shipment at handover, validate with the receiving personnel that seals are intact and seal numbers are consistent with what is written on documents.
  • The driver should invite the consignee to inspect the integrity of the seals securing the shipment prior to removal

Start facilitating unloading as soon as possible.

  • Cargo is usually more secure inside premises, therefore avoid any undue delays to unload the goods.

Hand over transportation documents to authorized recipient only.

  • Have proof of delivery signed by the consignee and send a copy of this proof electronically to the back office.

Monitor unloading operations personally if possible.

  • On the completion of your journey, and if possible observe the unloading and delivery of the shipment from your truck at the warehouse.

If the delivery warehouse cannot take delivery on arrival, you should drive to the safe location which has been agreed in advance with the back office.

  • You should have an agreed alternative safe harbor location in the vicinity of the end destination warehouse, where you can wait safely for your delivery time slot.