Skip to content
Call Now!   (904) 388-3975

ESI's Blog

Protecting Your Warehouse Space

Because of the rise of global threats and as of a direct response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks that took place on U.S. soil, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in close cooperation with its international trading partners initiated the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). According to its charter, the C-TPAT established security guidelines for the handling of goods and from its inception in November 2001, the C-TPAT partnership has grown to more than 11,400 certified partners accepted into the program.

The partners include U.S. importers/exporters, U.S./Canada highway carriers; U.S./Mexico highway carriers; rail and sea carriers; licensed U.S. Customs brokers; U.S. marine port authority/terminal operators; U.S. freight consolidators; ocean transportation intermediaries and non‐operating common carriers; Mexican and Canadian manufacturers; and Mexican long‐haul carriers, who account for over 52 percent (by value) of what is imported into the United States.


The partnership establishes clear supply chain security criteria for members to meet, and in return, provides incentives and benefits such as expedited processing.  The Warehouse Security Best Practices was developed by the International Warehouse and Logistics Association (IWLA) to establish warehouse security guidelines and C-TPAT certification. CBP, Customs and Border Protection, does not C-TPAT certify third-party warehouses. The CBP has agreed to endorse a Warehouse Security Best Practice Guideline for third party warehouses.


IWLA warehouses will establish a security management team, designate a leader accountable to a senior executive. Warehouses will develop a Security Plan based on the IWLA’s Best Practice Guidelines and shall review annually all procedures to verify required actions are implemented and effective.


The Security Plan will include the following elements:

  1. I) Physical Security II) Standard Operating Procedures III) Personnel Security & Training IV) Visitors V) IT Security VI) Customer Evaluation

Physical Security:

Alarms Systems and/or Video Surveillance Cameras Alarm –Systems and video surveillance cameras should be utilized to monitor premises and prevent unauthorized access to cargo handling and storage areas. Retrieval of recorded activities should be maintained for a reasonable period.

Building -Structure Buildings must be constructed of materials that resist unlawful entry and protect from outside intrusion. The integrity of structures must be maintained by periodic inspection and repair.

Critical Facility Protection Systems– Facility protection systems, such as fire suppression and alarm systems, hazardous gas detection systems, and air scrubbers should be secured and monitored for unauthorized tampering or shut-down by an approved remote alarm company. The integrity of such monitored alarms should be periodically tested.

Yard Security– Perimeter fencing should enclose the areas around cargo handling and storage facilities. In the event there is no perimeter fencing, procedural practices to secure the yard from unlawful entry and protection from outside intrusion must be documented.

Gates and Gate Houses– Where there are gates through which vehicles and/or personnel enter or exit they must be manned and/or monitored. The number of gates should be kept to the minimum necessary for proper access and safety.

Lighting– Adequate lighting must be provided inside and outside the facility including the following areas: entrances and exits, cargo handling and storage areas, fence lines and parking areas.

Locking Devices and Key Controls -All external and internal windows, gates and fences must be secured with locking devices. Management or security personnel must control the issuance of all locks and keys.

Parking – Private passenger vehicles should be prohibited from parking in or adjacent to cargo handling and storage areas. Visitor parking should be separated from employee and container parking.

 Access Controls -Access controls prevent unauthorized entry to facilities, maintain control of employees and visitors, and protect company assets. Access controls must include the positive identification of all employees, visitors, and vendors at all points of entry. Warehouses must establish secured waiting areas where drivers can be identified and allowed limited access for confirmed pick-ups and deliveries.


Non- IWLA warehouses make up roughly 50% of all storage facilities. These warehouse facilities providing product storage for domestic distributors and manufactures. Implementing a security facilities plan base on the IWLA’s Best Practice Guidelines is an effective way to ensure your facility incorporates the most up to date security guidelines.

ESI-EMERGENCY SYSTEMS INC. is a licensed warehouse and storage security specialist providing design, installation, service and inspection of security protection measures for IWLA and Non-IWLA Warehouse Facilities.

ESI, is a locally owned and operated security company serving all of North and Central Florida for over 37 years. ESI offers a wide range of security services including Security Systems, Surveillance, Fire, CCTV, Access Control, Gate Operating Devices and Monitoring for all commercial and industrial applications. Our professional staff and trained technicians are here to answer any questions you might have. Please give us a call today.

Call Emergency Systems, Inc. to learn more about our affordable services at 904 388-3975 or visit us on our website at

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.