Over 2,500 truck hi-jackings were reported in the first three months of 2023 alone – approximately 27 vehicles per month – according to figures recently published in Freight Southern Africa magazine. Additionally, the number of reported truck hijackings has increased by nearly 25% year on year since 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down.
These are not opportunistic criminal events, these are well organised syndicates that plan with military precision, sophisticated equipment and supported by insider information believes Deon de Villiers, Managing Member of Strata Logistics, one of South Africa’s leading logistics service providers.
“The sophistication with which these hi-jackings are implemented, means that Strata Logistics needs to continually assess smarter technologies and conduct regular procedural reviews in order to safeguard its freighting operations. The logistics sector is one that does not stand still, literally, and I believe that Strata Logistics does more than the average operator to keep abreast of and implement new smart security and safety upgrades to our vehicles when required as an absolute necessity” de Villers said.
“It is an expensive CAPEX outlay, but to protect our fleet of vehicles, give staff and our customers peace of mind, there is no other option. Our cargo is a critical element in the lifecycle of logistics handling and needs the fullest of protections available. We seek assistance from the best tactical risk assessment units available, and together we formalise updated strategies that embrace our smart, high-tech solutions so that our operations work in tandem. We believe that our continued investment into these smart upgrades reflects the seriousness with which we hold our customers and their cargo that we transport” he said.
“In the event of an incident, it is important that we analyse all the circumstances and processes so that we can revise and improve our operations accordingly. Every element of the incident is inspected for where we can implement improvements. That is the only way we can ensure that our security procedures in and out of the cab are as flawless and seamless as possible”.
“All of our fleet of 75 vehicles have sophisticated security systems installed such as 24/7 live monitoring, Drivecams, driver alert alarms and GPS Live satellite tracking and online alerts software. Our driver training is detailed, intensive and our drivers are all pre-screened’.
“Our drivers are trained to make split-second decisions in order to prevent loss of life and cargo wherever possible but to remain realistic and practical about any situation they may unfortunately find themselves in.
Our drivers are our family and their integrity is essential to the continued success of our company” commented de Villiers.
Strata Logistics has over 30 years’ experience in the industry in the provision of quality primary and secondary logistics services with a differentiation factor of being able to offer a one-stop-shop bouquet of services which include:
- Same day express
- Direct loads
- Special cargo
- Contract vehicle solutions
- Maintenance solutions
Strata operates 12 trips to Cape Town per day, as well as servicing KwaZulu Natal, Nelspruit, Rustenburg, East London and Gqeberha. They have 65 highly trained and dedicated drivers keeping their vehicles moving, with their cargo being fully insured against any eventuality.
“Unfortunately, as we improve our smart security systems, so do hi-jackers. Their criminal activities are now under pinned by advanced technologies, bold operatives and involve numerous highly coordinated armed personnel. We can’t solve crime, but we can keep our fleets the most secure they can be at all times, and that is the promise we give to our customer base” concluded de Villiers.