We have recently been made aware of several incidents where products have mysteriously "disappeared" from sealed freight containers en route to overseas inland destinations. The first thought was that the containers had been "short loaded" but stringent checks at the load point ruled this out.
On investigation it was discovered that the door handle retainer plate and retainer itself on many of the leased containers received had been repaired at one time or another and, instead of replacing the bolts with the correct "mushroom" head type of bolt, they were replaced with common hexagonal head bolts.
The result of this is that a seemingly sealed container can be opened in a matter of minutes using an ordinary spanner or pair of pliers, leaving the seal intact. The bolt is then replaced after the cargo has been removed using putty to hold the inner nut in place.
No one is then the wiser until the time the "sealed" container arrives at the customer’s premises and he discovers his cargo missing.
We would recommend Members ensure that damaged containers are repaired to a proper standard, insisting that, in the case of damaged securing devices, all bolt fittings used have blind mushroom head nuts on door handle retainer brackets - or some other type of tamper proof fixing mechanism. Members should ensure that they do not approve the illustrated type of repair and containers with simple hex nuts should be rejected.
Source of information:
Loss Prevention Department and Signum
UK P&I Club