Italy, April 2013: The spectacular robbery of an armored car creates headlines in international media. In a scene reminiscent of a Hollywood film, the criminals block the highway within the space of only a few minutes using two burning trucks, stop an armored car and steal several million euros. Armored cars carrying money and valuables are a popular target for robberies – a fact confirmed by media coverage in recent years. The situation in Germany is better when compared with the rest of Europe. According to police criminal statistics there were only five robberies involving armored cars in 2012.
Approximately 11,000 employees and 2,600 armored vehicles ensure the secure transfer of roughly 3 billion euros every day. A sector which works in silence – unless an incident attracts attention. But who secures the liquidity chain on Germany’s roads and what challenges does security logistics face on a day-to-day basis? Definitely not a run-of-the-mill job – although spectacular robberies like the one in Italy are not a daily occurrence, something similar could happen at any time. Michael Leppler, the head of sales at Prosegur GmbH, confirms this: “Naturally, in the sector you have to reckon with many types of robbery. We are aware of these risks and take every available security precaution and measure to minimize potentially critical situations.”
The “tanks” are one important tool to protect the employees and valuables: “This is what we call our fleet vehicles.” Prosegur has more than 800 on the road. Each of the vehicles clocks up approximately 65,000 km every year, working 8-10 hour shifts. In view of these increased requirements, the fleet managers give special consideration to the service life of the drive system, high-quality components and very good material workmanship when deciding for or against a vehicle manufacturer. Securing employees and freight against robbery is the highest priority. That is why the fleet managers do not consider the vehicle’s economy alone but, above all, solid security equipment. “You would not believe the differences that exist. Our fleet managers assure me of this every day”, explains Michael Leppler. Since 2006 Prosegur has relied on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – recently the 316 cdi. However, the vehicle’s security features remain a secret. There is too great a risk that the information will be misused to analyze the vehicle for weaknesses.
The nickname “tanks” is not without reason. After deciding on a vehicle manufacturer, the vehicles are equipped with a complete range of security armor. However, that is not all. With its clear commitment to innovation leadership, Prosegur relies on state-of-the-art security technology. The “Track & Trace” shipment monitoring system constantly records and monitors the status of the shipment at every point of the logistics chain. In the vehicle itself, intelligent transport security systems protect the freight. The special belts in the armored vehicles not only serve to hold the freight in place: Opening the buckle triggers an acoustic alarm. The mobile safes also possess intelligent alarm systems. Any further insider information? No chance. “Unfortunately that is very sensitive information”, says Michael Leppler regretfully. Confidentiality: Another preventive measure to minimize the police criminal statistics.