Pilferage is the theft of part of the contents of a package. It may also include theft of the contents but leaving the package, perhaps resealed with bogus contents. Small packages can be pilfered from a larger package such as a shipping container. Broader and related aspects of theft may include taking the entire package, pallet load, truck load, shoplifting, etc.
Solutions may involve all phases of product production, packaging, distribution, logistics, sale, and use. No single solution can be considered as "pilfer proof". Often multiple levels of security need to be addressed to reduce the risk of pilfering.
Some considerations might include:
- Identify who a potential pilferer might be: an internal employee, security guard, truck driver, delivery person, receiver (consignee), organized crime, etc. What level of knowledge, materials, tools, etc. might they have?
- Identify all feasible methods of unauthorized access into a product, package, or system. In addition to the primary means of entry, also consider secondary or "back door" methods.
- Identify available means of resealing, reclosing, or replacing special seals.
- Use extra strong and secure packaging: A weak or damaged package is an invitation to pilferage.
- Consider unique custom seals and labels (change regularly because these are subject to counterfeiting)
- Improve the pilfer resistance to make pilfering more difficult, time-consuming, etc.
- Conceal the identity and value of a pilferable item. Do not bring attention to the item, its package, addresses, names, etc.
- Add pilfer-evident features to help indicate the existence of pilfering.
- Choose a logistics provider who can reduce the risks of pilferage.
- Ship in packages in unit loads with stretch wrap or in intermodal shipping containers with security seals
- Educate people to watch for evidence of pilfering.
- With a corrugated box, use a wider and stronger closure tape, 3-inch or 72 mm, reinforced gummed tape or pressure-sensitive tape.
- Use a tamper-evident tape or seal on packages that leaves a message, warning, or other indication if removed.
- Install a surveillance system to help identify any suspects.
- Breaking bulk (law)
- Tamper resistance
- Loss prevention
- Security printing
- Soroka, W, "Fundamentals of Packaging Technology", IoPP, 2002, ISBN 1-930268-25-4
- Yam, K. L., "Encyclopedia of Packaging Technology", John Wiley & Sons, 2009, ISBN 978-0-470-08704-6
- Rosette, J. L, "Improving Tamper-Evident Packaging: Problems, Tests and Solutions", 1992