T&P Trucking, Ltd.

C-TPAT Training

Categories: Events, Showcase

We all know how the world changed after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. If you’ve vacationed across the border lately, you no doubt noticed all the layers of security in place. But what about the constant movement of cargo travelling across the border? How do we know the goods we move haven’t been compromised of brought across illegally? This is where C-TPAT comes into play.

What is C-TPAT?

Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is public-private partnership that serves as a critical layer in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) multi-layered security strategy. Through this program, CBP works with the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve United States border security. The daily on goings for the CBP involve more than you might imagine.


On a typical day in 2015, the CBP…

  • Processed 72,179 truck, rail, and sea containers
  • Processed 282, 252 incoming privately owned vehicles
  • Discovered 470 pests at U.S. ports of entry and 4,548 materials for quarantine — plant, meat, animal byproduct, and soil
  • Seized $3.7 millon dollars’ worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations

C-TPAT enables the CBP to enhance and streamline cargo security through close cooperation with the principle stakeholders of the international supply chain such as importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers.

As one of the 10,512 certified partners of C-TPAT, we take any security threats seriously. This means constant employee training updates to stay ahead of any possible safety concerns.

Remaining Vigilant

C-CTPAT Training
Sam Pattison (General Manager) and Trish Mills (Administration Manager) recently spoke to T&P staff regarding these many concerns. They covered a variety of safety concerns falling under three main categories:

  • Physical Security
  • Suspicious Persons
  • Procedural Security

Each section can be further broken down with specific concerns and procedures all employees were instructed to be aware of.

Physical Security

Security Fence

With the endless flow of trucks and drivers entering and exiting the yard, it’s important to maintain a constant awareness when it comes to building security. Trish explained that while the actions we can take to ensure our security are vital, they are actually quite simple to perform and based on common sense.
Some of these actions are:

  • Ensure all guests sign in
  • Be aware to anyone acting nervous or hiding something
  • Any desks, cars or personal belongings that look tampered with
  • Suspicious objects or unattended packages
  • All utility workers must show proper identification
  • Escort any visitors to the appropriate person or area

By implementing these basic procedures, all employees can work as a team to aid in the prevention of any physical security threats or dangers.

Cyber Security


While we aren’t yet at risk from Skynet taking over, there is actually a cyber war happening right now. There are groups working to hack into systems for financial gain, to steal sensitive documents, or to harness the power of servers or networks.

Sam took the lead on this topic, and made it clear that a cyber-attack could come through any one of our office end-points, be it computers or services, such as emails or electronic documents shared over cloud services. Hackers can even use a  network of servers, computers and mobile devices to gain access to or set up an attack on an online system in order to sabotage company resources or to steal sensitive data or financial resources.

Sam helped each employee implement several important procedures to protect each employee, the company, and its clients. These included:

  • Not sharing access of computer with stranger
  • Always log off of a workstation when leaving it unattended
  • Change passwords every 90-180 days
  • Passwords should be a mix of letters, symbols and numbers – at least 12 characters
  • Keep AV definitions up-to-date and scan any computer downloads prior to use
  • Report any suspicious emails or attachments to management

Sam concluded this topic and exposed the seriousness of this threat by stating: “It’s not a question of IF it will happen, but WHEN it will happen.”

Procedural Security

Checking Papers crop
This last area of the T&P training session is one of great importance, as it covered sensitive areas that could leave us exposed to risk if left unchecked. While there are endless ways that shipments, equipment or loads could be compromised, effective training in key areas will go along way to ensure the reliability of all shipments, clients, and partners.

Arranging Shipments

It’s vital that all drivers and supervisors remain diligent in identifying any risk factors when it comes to shipping. Most risks can be identified from keeping a watchful eye towards any shipments that originate from, or is destined to, an unusual location. Also, if a driver has been given unusual routing instructions or a customer/shipper wants to pay cash, the probability of a risk threat will be high.

Shipping & Receiving

Sam clarified many of the aspects in this area to all employees. He stressed the importance of always checking any trailer for damage, tampering, or any suspicious signs of tampering with the equipment. Another important aspect of cross-border trucking is the verification of all paperwork and seal numbers. This involves confirming the quantity, weight, and description of all cargo.

Business Partners

Trish gave everyone a copy of our C-TPAT partner survey. She explained that as we are a member of C-TPAT, we want to ensure that any potential partners meet the C-TPAT criteria. The high value we put on security will diminish if we don’t request the same high standard from our partners.

Security Awareness and Us

Being an active member of C-TPAT means conveying the responsibility for the supply chain security to each individual. Through consistent and up-to-date training, T&P employees participate in keeping their part of the supply chain as strong as possible by keeping alert to potential security threats, following all security procedures, and reporting any suspicious activity.


Rob Morris