We partnered with Ahlers to improve safety in logistics. Together we developed a smart logistics solution that replaces – well – Kalashnikovs.

The client

Ahlers focuses on streamlining the logistics processes of its customers. The company also organizes truck transports across Europe and it manages the security of the transported goods. Security agents used to secure truck transport in Russia and Eastern Europe, but today it’s just a tiny security kit designed by Verhaert Digital that does the job.

The challenge

Guards securing truck transportation is a costly investment for Ahlers’ customers, but untraceable products such as cigarettes are an interesting target for robbers. In our region theft usually takes place at parking spots, in Eastern Europe it also occurs on the road, while driving. Smaller cars approach the truck and break in the lorry, without the security guards in the cabin even noticing. Ahlers therefore asked Verhaert Digital to build a smart logistics solution that would help secure goods, a security kit.

The solution

Verhaert Digital built a track and trace security system that comes with a surveillance application, a smartphone app for the truck drivers, a bracelet with a panic button, camera surveillance above the trailer’s rear doors and connection to a central dispatch center via a microphone in the cabin. For example, in an emergency, they can listen in and call police services if necessary.

The app notifies the driver which parking spots are safe and where he can stop, which roads are safe enough, and so on. If a truck deviates from its route, is stuck in traffic or has to stop unexpectedly, the dispatch center will receive a signal. If the doors are opened unauthorized, an alarm will sound and photos will be taken automatically. To further discourage the robbers, it was also considered to address them during the robbery.

These safety measures are not only suitable for the transport of luxury products. Shampoos and razor blades are more popular with thieves because, unlike for example iPhones, they are not traceable and therefore easy to sell. Although cigarettes remain the most desired good by transport robbers.

Lesson learned

Verhaert Digital combined and integrated existing technologies, electronics and components, built a ruggedized container for the intelligent camera and developed a new app. In the long run, Ahlers also wants to commercialize the AMS (Ahlers Monitoring System) service and a security-as-a-service is already sold per trip today. But the company is also considering bringing the security kit, worth 2,000 euros, to Western Europe.

This smart logistics solution is mobile and can be installed on a truck in 20 minutes. Moreover, it is safer and cheaper than security escorts. As a result, Ahlers did not need much effort to persuade insurance companies and customers about this new approach. Transport security accounts for 13 percent of business revenue and is a growing activity for Ahlers.