Author: Chris DemetroulisAndrew Diesel

Civil unrest events may put the transportation industry at high risk, endanger employees and slow down the delivery of goods. In some cases, incidents of unrest can lead to hostility or even violence, and shut down major transportation routes. There are many risk management tactics to consider to help reduce the likelihood or extent of damage to your people, business, cargo and the general public. The following guidelines can be used to help you prepare, adapt, mitigate and recover from potential loss.

Contact your Gallagher representative if you have additional questions about the security or business continuity planning of your property or personnel.  

Gather information and assess the potential exposure. 

Conducting a vulnerability and risk assessment of all aspects of the business to determine potential exposures is a critical first step to the refinement of your emergency response and communications plan. This assessment should look at your internal operations, employee safety protocols, customer communication and public relations.

  • Gather intelligence by monitoring local media reports, public information bulletins from state and local authorities, internet and social media postings, digital neighborhood-based updates, etc. Use web-scrapping tools to develop intelligence. This includes monitoring transit routes and hubs for activity that may put your people and cargo at risk.
  • Evaluate your communication channels and create contingency plans to ensure that contact with your drivers can be maintained. Encourage employees and drivers to share information and alerts if signs of trouble are imminent. Consider creating a phone tree or other alert system to exchange information. 
  • Designate a point of contact or team that can facilitate responses to questions from the media in a timely way.
  • Alert and request assistance from the local police agency’s crime prevention bureau in preparing your emergency response plan in major cities.
  • Schedule a training session with employees to practice key emergency procedures and protocols, including:
    • Pre-inspection of vehicles like doors, locks and windows 
    • Notification of arrival and departure times 
    • Installing tracking devices on vehicles to recover hijacked vehicles 
    • Locking all doors and windows, and parking in well-lit area
  • Schedule a separate training session with employees to practice specific safety procedures and protocols if they are slowed or stopped by a crowd. 
  • Check the security/surveillance systems in place to ensure they are working properly. 
  • Conduct an assessment of each load to evaluate the type of cargo (is it high value or goods that will attract attention?), designated location and route to/from the designated drop, and create contingency plans to safely reroute.
  • Gather information on curfew times for different states, know when people are not allowed to travel and regularly communicate these to employees. For more information and guidance on a specific area of travel, refer to a state government website for official announcements (for example, New York state website). 
  • A daily review of the changing safety recommendations from the local, state and federal authorities, and other governing bodies within your jurisdiction, will help ensure your organization’s compliance with personal safety mandates and requirements.

Secure employees, independent contractors and cargo in transit.

Protecting your employees is always the first priority. Begin by establishing and maintaining open lines of communication to inform drivers of emergency response plans while they are on the road. The emergency response plan should detail what is expected of the driver in case of an incident. Fleet telematics technology can also be utilized to locate drivers and provide alternate routes. Preplan rerouting deliveries around major cities, if possible.

Employee and independent contractor safety and response protocols
  • Encourage communication with other drivers and dispatchers via CB radio or hands-free technology to share possible road blockages that can inform rerouting plans. 
  • Make emergency response numbers readily accessible in case of an emergency situation. 
  • Update first-aid kits and fire extinguishers in trucks, and check for potential expired product. 
  • If your driver is somehow slowed/stopped by a crowd, advise them to stay in the truck and communicate their situation to dispatch. 
  • If safe, slowly move the truck to leave the area. 
  • If there are people within 10 feet of the vehicle, advise the driver to call 911 and follow the dispatcher’s instructions. 
  • Dispatchers should remind the driver to stay calm and not get aggressive physically or verbally with a crowd. Whether they should exit the vehicle or remain in the vehicle is case-dependent, and the 911 dispatcher or the local police department should be contacted for guidance. 
  • Put passenger-side seatbelt through the passenger-side interior door handle to help prevent the door from being opened from the outside. 
  • Develop a policy for what to do if someone enters the vehicle and how the driver should respond to de-escalate the situation. 
  • Drivers should not speak with the media, but instead refer them to a company media spokesperson.
Secure cargo and vehicles 
  • Before dispatching, assess the load and evaluate the type of cargo, designated location, route to/from the designated drop and contingency plans to safely reroute. 
  • Make sure to seal all trailers after each stop of the day. 
  • Secure air hoses and glad hands to prevent someone from disconnecting air lines. 
Restore operations
  • Establish a contingency recovery process, including contact information, with restoration firms, guard services and security firms, maintenance and repair facilities, and key employees. 
  • Document and take pictures of all damage, including vehicle and contents. 
  • Take inventory of any cargo and identify anything missing. 
  • File a claim with your carrier. 
  • Contact your Gallagher broker to discuss filing a claim with your insurance carrier.

Communicate delivery policies to key stakeholders.

Customers, clients and the public should be aware of the safeguards you have put in place to ensure their safety. You will want to manage their expectations about potential delays or changes to delivery protocol caused by transit and operational changes. Actively monitoring feedback from these stakeholders will help validate the safety measures put in place and the effectiveness of your communication plan.

Key things to share when speaking with customers include:

  • Will you require police/private security escorts in order to make pickups/deliveries?
  • What protection measures will be put in place for high-value cargo? 
  • How will you protect your vehicles while making pickups and deliveries in unsecure locations (i.e., cities, urban areas)? For clients with terminals in at-risk areas, consider relocating operations/vehicles temporarily. 
  • What safety and security measures are needed for the specific cargo? 
  • Can delivery of high-value cargo to at-risk areas be delayed? 
  • How will service look under various scenarios? 
    • Parameters or restrictions for in-home delivery 
    • Identification protocol between driver and customer 
    • Limitations for in-building deliveries 
    • Delivery times and windows 
    • Availability of delivery for certain geographical locations

Key questions to ask your customers include: 

  • Are their hours of operation changing? Will that impact delivery times as well? Only accept pickups and deliveries at certain times of day, and comply with local curfew. 
  • Are there any emergency response plans they have enacted that you and your drivers need to be aware of? 
    • Create contingency plans if customer locations have to close for safety. 
    • Designate a primary contact for help, such as a director of security or risk manager in case incidents occur.


This document has demonstrated that even during challenging times such as civil unrest, there are proactive measures that the transportation industry can take to protect their people, business, cargo and the general public. We advise you to speak with your Gallagher team to discuss your insurance coverage and file a claim with your insurance carrier if appropriate. For additional resources, please use Gallagher’s Crisis Resilience Insurance and Consulting page

Author Information:


The information contained herein is offered as insurance Industry guidance and provided as an overview of current market risks and available coverages and is intended for discussion purposes only. This publication is not intended to offer legal advice or client-specific risk management advice. Any description of insurance coverages is not meant to interpret specific coverages that your company may already have in place or that may be generally available. General insurance descriptions contained herein do not include complete Insurance policy definitions, terms, and/or conditions, and should not be relied on for coverage interpretation. Actual insurance policies must always be consulted for full coverage details and analysis.

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