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Liberty Security Seals
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Supply Chain Security Program



If supply chain operations are part of your business, i.e. if you are shipping and/or receiving raw materials or finished goods, then it is vital that a security seal program is part of your overall supply chain security policy.

The use of security seals is only really effective if used in connection with a security seal program that clearly describes how to acquire, store, release, apply, inspect and remove security seals.

This document describes the best practices for establishing such a security seal program.

Ordering and Storage of Security Seals

1) Only designated personnel within your company should be responsible for buying security seals.

In most companies this is handled by the ‘security’, loss prevention’, or ‘quality’ departments, working closely with purchasing.

2) Choose a specific location for the storage of your security seals and ensure that there is authorized personnel at that location, who will receive, store and release/distribute the seals within your organization.

3) To ensure that seals cannot be easily replicated, opt for “customized seals”, i.e. seals that are laser marked with your company’s name or logo. You may also opt for having your seals marked with bar code.

4) You can opt to have your seals marked with a location code for each of the locations that you ship from. Having your seals color coded, is another method use to designate different locations or regions in your supply chain.

Always make sure that your security seals are stored in a locked and secure area, where only authorized personnel have access.

Seal Application

1) Ensure that appropriate personnel inspect the seal before applying it. Make sure the seal is without defects and that is has not been subjected to any pre-tampering.

2) Select the appropriate security seal, based on your risk assessment, i.e. destination of shipment, value of shipment, susceptibility to theft, risk of contamination, risk of pilferage.

Use High Security Seals “H” in combination with plastic seals or tamper evident labels and tapes, for high risk shipments. Mix it up! Cargo thieves look for patterns in your security program, so make sure to intermittently change the type, color, marking of seals being used, as not to create an easily detectable pattern.

3) Follow the seal manufacturer’s guidelines for applying the seal, and always:

- Inspect the seal before applying it.

- Apply the seal, and, where applicable:

  • Listen for the ”click” indicating successful locking
  • For pull tight cable seals: Pull them tight, leaving little or no slack.
  • As a general rule, try to avoid any slack for cable seals.
  • Always pull and twist the seal after it has been applied, to ensure proper locking.

Outbound Seal Log

Maintain a “seal log” for outbound seal recording, and a separate seal log for inbound seal recording.

Your outbound seal log should include the following data:

- Date and time of seal application

- Trailer- or Container number

- Destination of shipment

- Seal number, marking and color.

Unplanned Seal Breakage

If a security seal is broken before it’s arrival at final destination, the following data should be recorded:

1) The name of the person breaking the security seal.

2) Time and date the seal was broken.

3) Reason for breaking the seal.

4) The seal number from the broken seal.

5) The seal number for the replacement seal.

6) Names and phone numbers for any witnesses.

Be sure to report the event to the terminal manager or security manager at the outbound terminal.

Gate Procedures

1) All drivers must present gate pass to the guard, who will verify the following information:

- Tractor number and license plate number.

- Container or trailer number.

- Security seal’s marking, numbering, and color.

- Driver name and driver license number.

- Date and time

2) The guard should have different color or marked seals at his disposal, to allow for random load checking, and subsequent seal replacement.

3) All load checks should be made in the presence of the driver or a security officer.

Inbound Seal Removal and Recording

Always inspect a seal for visible signs of tampering prior to removing the seal.

1) Only authorized personnel should remove seals.

2) Verify that seal number, marking and number corresponds with the seal number written

in the truck load manifest or bill of lading.

3) Enter seal number, marking and color in the inbound seal log.

4) Pull and twist the seal to ensure the seal is still intact.

5) Look for impact marks – especially around the seal’s locking points.

6) If tampering is suspected, take pictures before the seal is removed.

7) Report discrepancies in the inbound seal log and to the appropriate person.

Liberty Security Seals
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