In a previous article I discussed the essentials for perimeter security of a secured trailer parking lot or drop yard. However, true perimeter security requires more than a formidable wall between the yard and the outside world. A secured parking lot must also have secure methods of getting in and out of the yard. This article will focus on the security necessary for the ins and outs of any secure drop yard.
When evaluating the security of any drop yard’s entrance points you should start at the physical characteristics of the gate. A secure trailer parking lot’s entrances and exits should be designed so that when they are closed they provide a physical barrier similar to the perimeter fence. Many inferior yards only have a stop sign and if you’re lucky a guard to yell, “stop.” However, such yards cannot be considered secure.
Once you have determined the physical barriers necessary to prevent unauthorized entrance and exit from the yard are present you need to evaluate the controls used by the yard. A secure truck parking lot should at all times, have on-site trained guards to ensure that only authorized entries and exits occur. A simple key fob or numeric pad controlling the gate should never be considered a secure lot. Also, the on-site guard should be controlling the entrance and exits of all pedestrians as well. Essentially no man or machine should be on the yard that is not authorized and has legitimate business being there. Only on-site guards can provide the security standard required to call a drop yard secure.
Having an on-site guard and physical barrier preventing unauthorized entry or exit is not enough for true security. The vehicle and pedestrian entrances and exits must be monitored one hundred percent (100%) by high definition CCTV. The use of high definition CCTV is important, as the system must be able to identify the vehicle or person entering or exiting. Where, remote staff is also monitoring the gate the CCTV must provide enough detail for the plates and trailer numbers to be recognizable for comparison with customer release forms.
The lighting at all entrance or exit gates must support the security of the yard. Therefore, it must provide adequate lighting for the CCTV to identify vehicle plate numbers and to identify facial features of any pedestrians. Nothing can render a sophisticated CCTV system useless like poor lighting. The proper lighting of the gate area not only assists on-site guards but also is crucial for a properly functioning CCTV monitoring system.
All the intimidating gates and high-tech surveillance systems will not prevent theft from a secure yard if the guards are lax. Properly trained on-site guards are crucial and cannot be replaced by fancy equipment. Do not get blindsided by technology and overlook the on-site staff of any yard you are assessing. True the technology may help find the thieves and may assist in recovering some of the stolen cargo, but a secure drop yard should prevent theft. That is the reason any trucking company entrusts its’ equipment and cargo to the yard.