KUALA LUMPUR: The introduction of various technological tracking devices has made it easier for fleet operators to curb crude palm oil (CPO) thefts through the sharing of data and intelligence.
CPO tanker haulage group, Sidhu Brothers, said Malaysia was one of the most cargo theft-prone countries in the world.
Its commercial director, Jimmy Sidhu, said the CPO theft has significantly impacted the domestic palm oil industry, with an average of one palm oil tanker hijacked every month and incurred losses of as much as RM2.7 million annually.
He said without proper monitoring devices, it would be difficult to track the modus operandi of the black-market dealers who set up ‘hotspots’ or palm oil siphoning locations.
“In 2008 we equip ourselves with an advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) and General Packet Radio Services-based fleet management system because it is dangerous and we can’t do it ourselves,” he told Bernama in an interview.
Sidhu said these monitoring devices will also come in handy in other affected industries such as electronics and the fast-moving consumer goods as the value of the cargo was usually worth millions, thus becoming vulnerable to theft.
“These thieves are organised syndicates who are intelligent. They would not hit you on highways or on open roads during the day.
“They tend to do it on trunk roads at night,” he said.
Armed with GPS tracking devices, he said the company has been successful in combating hijacking and cargo theft in the recent years.
“The company has managed to reduced losses from an average of RM18,500 per month to the current zero level,” he said.
He said a 40-tonne cargo truck would cost as much as RM180,000 depending on the CPO market price.
“The stolen CPO cargo is much more expensive compared to the RM50,000-RM60,000 truck and after emptying the CPO, the truck would normally resurface within a day.
“If the driver retaliates there will be repercussions. So we train our drivers to just give the cargo truck keys and go,” he said.
Sidhu will be one the speakers at The Malaysia International Bus and Truck Component 2013’ (MIBTC 2013) exhibition in June.
The exhibition, organised by Asian Trucker, is set to showcase the latest in technology to help industry players combat cargo theft.
MIBTC 2013 is the first ever exhibition in Malaysia that caters specifically to the needs of the regional trucking, logistics and bus industries, serving as an exclusive platform that gathers all the best from leading manufacturers, equipment suppliers and service providers.
It will be held at the Malaysia International Exhibition & Convention Centre here from June 13-15, 2013. — Bernama