top of page

Security Toolkit for Truck Drivers

The European commercial road freight transport sector faces many security threats today. While cargo theft continues to be a multi-billion-euro problem for the European transport sector, irregular immigrants and terrorists pose additional security risks to international trucking operations – the former are boarding trucks clandestinely to cross borders, while the latter have turned heavy vehicles into weapons by hijacking and driving them into crowds.


To address these risks, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, DG MOVE, commissioned Cross-border Research Association (CBRA) of Switzerland and TAPA EMEA (as a subcontractor) to develop a new security toolkit for the European Road Freight Transport Sector.


This new ROADSEC toolkit provides clear operational guidance that will help European truck drivers, haulage companies and other key stakeholders to address cargo theft, stowaway entry to trucks, and terrorism on European roads. It also updates and upgrades contemporary good security practices that are rapidly becoming outdated amid a constantly evolving risk landscape, emerging technologies, and regulatory changes.


The ROADSEC toolkit development took place during January-September 2017. The research team started by collecting and analysing existing documentation on trucking security and road transport security. During the project, the ROADSEC research team participated in three main events where trucking security experts were made aware of the project and invited to contribute to the work. The production of the final ROADSEC toolkit was an iterative process of synthesis and composition of existing and new material and continuous validation and refinement of emerging results.


The ROADSEC toolkit is structured into the following six chapters:

(1) Executive summary,

(2) Introduction and scope,

(3) Truck driver guidance,

(4) Managerial and key stakeholder guidance,

(5) Promotion, dissemination and sustainability plan, and

(6) Bibliography.


In addition, the key ROADSEC Annexes include:

(A) Top security tips for truck drivers (also called the “laminated sheet for drivers”),

(B) Security plan template,

(C) Truck security checklist (plus six further annexes).


A designated web-portal – – has been established as the primary distribution channel for the ROADSEC toolkit. Any possible future updates (from year 2018 onwards) will be available for download on this portal.


Finally, the authors of the toolkit would like to thank all the external contributors from European and national logistics, insurance, security and governmental sectors, who shared documents, provided review comments and suggestions, and/or participated in dedicated sessions with us.


And specifically, we thank the representatives of the following institutions, who joined our final workshop in Brussels, early June 2017, and really helped us to finalize the toolkit content (in alphabetical order): AIG Property Casualty, Baloise Insurance, CLECAT, DB Schenker, Deutsche Post DHL Group, ECTA, European Commission – DG HOME and DG MOVE, GDV, IRU, IUMI, MSIG, and PostEurop.





Top Tips



This template uses the five-step model managing trucking security risk - which is introduced in the ROADSEC Chapter 4- as the basis. 

A security plan is the cornerstone of secure trucking operations that sets the basis for a strong security culture and strong security practice. A company security plan should cover at least the following steps, themes and elements:


i. Allocate security responsibilities to competent and qualified persons who have appropriate authority and high motivation to carry out their security related tasks. Nominate the head of security, preferably a senior expert with strong skills and substantial experience in trucking security.


ii. Assess security risks of trucking operations. Refer to ROADSEC toolkit Chapter 4.2 “Assess Risk”. Involve key business partners – including shippers, freight forwarders, carriers, security service providers, and insurance experts – in the risk assessment, if possible.Define measures to be taken to mitigate security risks in trucking operations. Refer to Chapter 4 of the


iii. ROADSEC toolkit keeping in mind specific requirements and needs of your company regarding key layers of trucking security management.

  • Design & planning;

  • Process control & visibility;

  • Assets & data protection;

  • Human resource management;

  • Business partner management;

  • Aftermath capabilities; and

  • Disruption of criminal activities.


Consider also state-of-the-art technologies presented in ROADSEC Annex D “Freight transport security technology horizon.”

Pay regard to applicable laws, regulations, standards, internal company policies when selecting trucking security measures.

Study closely the security measures recommended or required by EU AEO, UK Border Force, TAPA EMEA and others, by consulting the ROADSEC Annex E “Existing freight transport security standards and good practices.”


iv. If necessary, tailor the ROADSEC Chapter 3 and/or Annex A to match the exact security measures and tips applicable to your truck drivers.


v. Organize appropriate training and awareness building among the drivers using materials particularly from the ROADSEC Chapter 3 and Annex A, as well as ROADSEC Chapter 4. Consider hiring security trainers from the outside of your company or send your drivers to a trucking security course.


vi. Establish communication and reporting procedures to collect driver feedback and help the drivers to report suspicions and crime incidents. Refer to ROADSEC toolkit Annex G “Security incident reporting forms” and the Chapter 4.6.2 “Capture data for security performance monitoring”.


vii. Create procedures for periodic evaluation and update of security plans and procedures. Consider recommendations of the ROADSEC Chapter 4.6 “Monitor & Revise.” Collect feedback from drivers and consider the drivers’ needs and wishes in day-to-day trucking security management.


viii. Ensure that only authorized people access information of the security plan on a need-to-know basis. Establish necessary cyber security safeguards to protect digital information as well.


Altogether, when designing security plans, managers should consider the five-step model and guidelines of the ROADSEC Chapter 4, which guides them through the most important aspects and themes of the modern-day trucking security management. Use also the Chapter 3 and Annex A – potentially tailored versions - of the ROADSEC toolkit to communicate key aspects of trucking security to truck drivers.


Security Plan
Inspection Points


The European Committee for Standardisation, CEN, has produced “Specifications for reporting crime incidents”, EN 16352:2013-06 (2013). This Euronorm can be used as a security incident reporting template, across all EU (and CEN) Member States as well as across all companies operating in Europe.


On the security incident data collection and analysis front, TAPA EMEA maintains an Incident Information Service, IIS, and produces monthly, quarterly and annual reports, highlighting the changes it sees in crime trends. Reporting incidents is simple via the TAPA EMEA website

To assist in ensuring the correct category of criminal activities is used, TAPA has produced the following Glossary:

I. Incident Category Definitions


The use of force (armed or unarmed), threat or intimidation to kidnap the driver in order to take the vehicle


The use of force (armed or unarmed), threat or intimidation in order to steal shipments/cargo while employees, guards or drivers are present and coerced to allow access (open doors), hand over goods, hand over vehicle


Entry to a facility (plant, warehouse, transportation hub etc.) with the intent to steal shipments/cargo, without confrontation with employees or guards (may or may not be present)


Theft by deception; offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them — usually, to obtain property or services from the victim unjustly


General Term for wrongful taking of property without that owner's willful consent

Please reload

Theft from Facility

Theft of complete shipment/cargo while being stored or handled in a facility (plant, warehouse, transportation hub etc.)

Theft from Vehicle

The stealing of shipments/cargo from vehicle (truck, van, lorry, trailer etc.), without any confrontation with the driver (driver may or may not be present)

Theft of Vehicle

Stealing of vehicle (truck, van, lorry, trailer etc.), – with the shipment/cargo/load, while driver is not present

Truck Theft

Stealing of vehicle (truck, van, lorry, trailer etc.), – without any load/shipment/cargo


The act of trying to steal cargo/load/shipment unsuccessfully

Please reload

II. Modus Operandi

Forced Stop

Stationary or vehicle Roadblock; Running off road by another vehicle; Drive by shooting

Deceptive Stop

Bogus police roadblock / fake road works / Diversion from main route / Hitchhiker / Fake Accident / “Stuck” vehicles / “Bump and rob”

Violent & Threat with Violence

The use of force armed/unarmed, Threat to use force; extortion

Please reload


For vehicle/Truck: “Jump up” / breaking door’s lock or seal / slashing tilt curtain (driver may or may not bpresent)

For Facility: Breaking and entry at a warehouse/logistics or company premises


Active involvement in the theft by employee/s or driver


Modus Operandi details are unknown

Please reload

III. Location Types

En Route

While in motion/driving

Secured Parking

Customer or IRU Approved as secured parking

Non secured Parking

Public; Roadside; not approved by customer or IRU

Origin facility

Plant; Warehouse

Destination facility

Plant; Warehouse; Distribution

Road Transportation facility

Pickup/Delivery terminal; Hub

Please reload

Aviation Transporation facility

Airside – Tarmac, apron, runway; Air Hub, Landside hangar or warehouse within Airport perimeter

Authorities 3rd party facility

Customs; Ground Handling authorities warehousing and handling facility

Services 3rd party facility

Broker; Forwarder; Handling provider warehousing and handling facility

Maritime Transportation Facility

Theft from ferry terminal/ port/dockyard facilities


From ..... To ........ (origin & destination are required)

Please reload


Track & trace

  • Vehicle and cargo unit trackers

  • Geofencing capability

  • Remote vehicle immobilization capability

Awareness & response

  • Multi-channel telematics (e.g., mobile phone and backup two-way radio communication)

  • Mobile devices and applications for finding secure parking places

  • Real-time and on-demand traffic information

  • Smart phones or watches to alert driver if a truck or trailer door is opened

  • Vehicle-based mist generators to make it difficult to thieves to select high-value items on-board

Data-driven driver selection

  • Driver whitelists

  • Advanced recruitment processes

Please reload

Incident Reporting
Tecnology Solution

Access control

  • Electronic keys

  • Multi-factor biometric driver authentication (for example, finger print, facial features, and iris)

Locks & seals

  • Automatic or slam-locks applications

  • Remote locking capability

  • Electronic seals with remote reporting capability


Alarms & detectors

  • Panic alarm button

  • Alarm of curtain / door opening

  • Cargo compartment CO2 sensors for detecting stowaways

Camera surveillance for trucks & trailers

  • Rear-view and cargo compartment cameras

  • Motion detection capability

  • Powerful optical zoom (30x)

  • Internet protocol (IP) cameras for web connection

  • Ultra-high resolution (> 3840 x 2160)

  • High frames per second (> 30 fps)

  • Infrared (IF) view

Please reload


Following two EU initiatives, SETPOS and LABEL, the IRU took over the administration of TRANSPARK, a database of information appertaining to the location and facilities at truck parking sites throughout the region. However, due to various issues, no real indicators have been maintained as to the security levels which can be found at these sites.

In an attempt to identify sites which offer security for trucks to park, as crime incidents reveal that the majority of theft from trucks occur in unsecure parking, EPSPORG and recently TAPA EMEA, have both introduced a certification programme to identify and increase the security status of those participating in the schemes. 


Key references for transport security related governmental standards and good practices include the requirements in:


From the industry side, the TAPA global standards - - cover both freight whilst being stored, TAPA Facility Security Requirements, (FSR), and whilst on the move, TAPA Trucking Security Requirements (TSR).

These standards, consisting of a number of security levels, cover goods in a warehouse environment, either being stored or transiting through on route to a further destination, or being transported via a truck. The standards themselves lay down a set of prescribed security procedures to assist in the supply chain remaining safe and secure.



[1]     At least following documents are available in public (Oct. 2017) : Application to join civil penalty accreditation scheme, Form (17 December 2009) ; Civil penalty accreditation scheme, Guidance (20 July 2015) ; Civil penalty code of practice: prevention of clandestine entrants, Guidance (22 July 2015) ; Secure your vehicle to help stop illegal immigration, Guidance (7 February 2014) Guidance ; Guidance for hauliers on preventing clandestine entrants, Guidance (11 August 2015) ; Vehicle security checklist, Guidance (22 July 2015) ; and, Civil penalty accreditation scheme: accredited haulage companies, Decision (28 July 2017).

Secure Parking



LABEL 2011. Handbook for Labelling – security and service at truck parking areas along the trans-European road network

PVG. Polismyndigheten i Västra Götaland. Transport Security Facts from the EU project - Prevention of Cargo Crime.

Robinson P. V. (2009), ”Freight crime in Europe: what happens next?”. A presentation at ESCB 09, Prague

Rystad, G. (2006), Politiska mord – det yttersta argumentet. Historiska media, Lund (in Swedish)

TAPA EMEA 2015a. The Parking Challenge. A presentation at TAPA EMEA conference Munich, 11 – 12 November.

TAPA EMEA 2015b. Internet freight exchanges – do’s and don’ts. A presentation at TAPA EMEA conference Munich, 11 – 12 November.

TAPA EMEA 2015c. How we can improve Incident Response, with learning from case studies. A presentation at TAPA EMEA conference Munich, 11 – 12 November.

TAPA EMEA 2015d. Clandestine Entry Prevention & Collaboration. A presentation at TAPA EMEA conference Munich, 11 – 12 November.

TAPA EMEA 2016a. Vigilant January 2016.

TAPA EMEA 2016b. The Triple "S" - Safety. Security. Savings - within Secondary Distribution. TAPA EMEA conference Paris 12-13 April.

TAPA EMEA 2017a. How to report your incidents. Available at:

TAPA EMEA, 2017b. ISS key glossary, available at

TAPA EMEA 2017c. Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA). 2017. Facility Security Requirements.

TAPA EMEA 2017d. Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA). 2017. Trucking Security Requirements.

TAPA EMEA 2017e. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 2017. Vehicle Ramming Attacks – Threat landscape, indicators, and countermeasures

TruckPol (2007), TruckPol Annual Report 2007. Homeoffice, TruckPol, UK

UK Border Force (UKBF). Preventing Theft & Border Crime — Important information for drivers on how to prevent road crime, illegal immigration and smuggling.

UKBA. UK Border Agency. Lorry crime prevention — Information for drivers on preventing road freight crime and illegal immigrants 2010.

UKBF. Haulier security communications Aide mémoire.

UKBF. UK Border Force. Civil penalty prevention of clandestine entrants: code of practice. Code of Practice issued in accordance with section 33 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Universal Postal Union (UPU) 2012. Postal security standards – General security measures.

USDA. United States Department of Agriculture. Guide for Security Practices in Transporting Agricultural and Food Commodities 2004.

AEO. European Commission Directorate-General Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD). Authorised Economic Operators — Guidelines 2016.

AIG, 2014a. HVTT (High Value Theft Targeted) Rating Scale

AIG 2014b. MLCE Logistics and Security Resource Material – General Security Recommendations for HVTT Level 1 shipments (FTL).


CART Security Guide, 2017. Cargo and Road Transport Security Guide.

ECMT (2001), Theft of goods and goods vehicles. CEMT/CM (2001)19, Lissabon.

Ekwall, D. and Bruls, H. and Wyer, D. (2016),” Theft of pharmaceuticals during transport in Europe”. Journal of Transportation Security, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp 1–16

Ekwall, D. and Lantz, B. (2013), “Seasonality of cargo theft at transport chain locations”. International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Vol. 43, No 9, pp. 728-746

Ekwall, D. and Lantz, B. (2015a), “Cargo theft at non-secure parking locations”. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, Vol. 43, No. 3.

EP - European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism, (2007), Organised theft of commercial vehicles and their loads in the European union. European Parliament, Brussels


EU (2003), “Freight Transport Security”.

Consultation paper, European Commission, Brussels.

European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), 2014.

Europol (2007), “EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2007”. The Hague, Netherlands

Europol (2009), Cargo theft report: Applying the Brakes to Road Cargo Crime in Europe, Europol, The Hague.

FTA. Freight Transport Association. Theft prevention for drivers and managers 2017.

Gearson, J. (2002), ”The nature of modern terrorism”. The Political Quarterly Publishing, pp. 7-24

Haelterman, H. (2009). Situational Crime Prevention and Supply Chain Security: An “Ex Ante” Consideration of Preventive Measures. Journal of Applied Security Research, 4(4), 483-500.

Haelterman, H. (2011). Re-thinking the cost of supply chain security. Crime, law and social change, 56(4), 389-405.

Hintsa, J. (2011). Post-2001 Supply Chain Security—impacts on the private sector. Doctoral dissertation, Université de Lausanne.

IRU (2008), Attacks on drivers of international heavy goods vehicles.  INTERNATIONAL ROAD TRANSPORT UNION, GENEVA

IRU. International Transport Union. Driver’s security checklist.

IRU. (2006), International Road Transport Union. IRU Road Transport Security Guidelines. Voluntary security Guidelines for Managers, Drivers, Shippers, Operators Carrying Dangerous Goods and Customs-Related Guidelines 2006.



ROADSEC authors: Dr. Juha Hintsa (* & *** & *****), Dr. Toni Männistö (*), and Mr. Juha Ahokas (*)


Key contributors: Dr. Daniel Ekwall (****), Mr. Laurence Brown (**), Mr. Thorsten Neumann (**) and Mr. Kieran O’Connor (*)


Graphical design and images: Ms. Susana Wong Chan (* & ***) and Mr. Erno Kanko (*)


Affiliations: * = Cross-border Research Association ( ; ** = TAPA EMEA ( ; *** = HEC University of Lausanne ( ; **** = University of Borås ( ; ***** = Editorial Board of the Journal of Transportation Security[1]

Authors & Key Contributors
Cross-border Research Association
Dr. Juha Hintsa
Tel. +41765890967

Thanks! Message sent.

bottom of page