Saia’s Security Team: Assuring Protection for Shipments

Saia's Security Measures

Director of Corporate Security James McDonald  shares a bit about Saia’s state-of-the art security technology and tells us how the company protects customers’ freight. 

As safety continues to be one of Saia’s top priorities, my team and I recognize the importance of applying innovative solutions to protect our customers’ property. New technology and enhanced internal processes, as well as added precautions during high-risk seasons, all help us to ensure shippers’ freight is secure while in our care. These initiatives have made a true difference for both our customers and internal operations.


At Saia, we always want to be proactive, not reactive. In order to protect property, as well as avert theft or other crises, we employ innovative, advanced technology:

High-tech cameras

Our high-definition camera platform offers an array of benefits to our company. The utilization of self-learning video analytics, low-light technology and geo-fencing has been a game-changer for us on the live monitoring front. When used in conjunction with live remote access, live monitoring offers a greater value to our customer in comparison to standard industry security standards. The cameras consistently work behind the scenes accessing potential threats so we can respond accordingly.

Access control systems

Our Enterprise Access Control System gives us the ability to efficiently protect our employees, customers, property and assets as it allows us to manage who has admittance to our facilities.  Access to all our terminals, as well as critical areas at these locations, is easily managed through the system and a strict audit-control process. The cameras further complement the audit process as they work in conjunction with the access control system.

High-definition internet protocol (IP) camera platform

Being a techie at heart, it was a real achievement for my team and me to gain the necessary infrastructure for our new Enterprise high-definition closed-circuit television (CCTV) IP platform. Our CCTV and access control systems now communicate with each other at a higher capacity and provide a more efficient operation. The addition of this technology has brought increased value by allowing our internal system to relay data in real-time, which ultimately benefits our customers as it provides sustainable protection through constant surveillance.


Throughout the year, we constantly work with our operations group to maintain security awareness and protect the chain of custody. Our relationships with our shippers also provide a huge, positive impact. At the end of the day, these relationships help to mitigate risks, so we work in tandem with some of our major manufacturers’ security managers.

A primary way Saia is able to stay vigilant is by spotting trends — recognizing and anticipating probable risks in advance gives us the upper hand when planning for heightened security.

This practice is especially important with the holiday season fast approaching. We take extra precautions as it is not uncommon to see a spike in theft during high-risk periods. As such, there is constant monitoring of freight during every stage and at every location as it moves through our network.


Since January, my team has continued to improve our internal systems. Through collaboration with IT and other departments, we have quickly seen the influence of this technology:

  • Saia is headed toward one of its lowest claims ratios in company history
  • Numerous investigations have been successful and led to the recovery of stolen freight
  • Saia is experiencing a great return on investment for its security initiatives

We are continually looking at innovative and progressive security options, one of which is the use of drones. We are in the very early stages of drone testing and hope to implement them in the near future in conjunction with our live monitoring platform This technology will potentially further provide a more efficient and immediate, real-time means to identify any problematic situation.

As we continue to evaluate and implement new approaches to security, our focus remains on providing the best service to our customers and on keeping their freight secure — from initial pickup to final delivery.

Another unique role at Saia is the EDI coordinator. Learn more by reading this blog.

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