Shipping Data Securely - Chain of Custody Logistics

May 17, 2013 by  Mike LoRusso

The majority of technology logistics for financial institutions involve moving highly confidential data. A common question our clients ask is how they can ensure that the security of their transported tapes and hard drives is never compromised. The answer is Chain of Custody Logistics, which means that:>

  • your items are listed, numbered and placed in a sealed container 
  • they remain in continuous possession or control of the designated courier 
  • they arrive in the same condition as they were tendered by shipper  

Simply put, your shipments are numbered and accounted for, and never leave your courier's hands.

The most common Chain of Custody solution is the Two Man Direct Drive. It involves transporting the highly confidential tapes by truck with two drivers to ensure that the shipment is never left unattended.

The first step involves preparing a Chain of Custody manifest: the shipper would provide the transport details such as shipment origin and destination and the number of pieces to be transported. Before the pieces are placed in the secure container, Quick's drivers record the model number and serial number. The shipper witnesses the whole process, including the sealing off the container and signs off the manifest. At that point, the custody of the shipment is moved to the courier. Throughout the drive, the client is informed about the whereabouts of the shipment on average every two hours. Thirty minutes before reaching the designation, drivers call the consignee to advise estimated ETA at destination and insure the consignee is available to receive the shipment. Only the designated consignee can receive the shipment. He/she must be present when the container's seal is broken. Again, all pieces are numbered and checked against the recorded model and serial numbers.

Direct drives can take anywhere from 2 to 25 hours. When distances are too prohibitive for ground transportation, shipping by air is the next option. In majority of cases, the clients choose an On Board Courier (OBC) or Charter. When the package is small, OBC service can be more economical than direct drive. For larger shipments to oversees locations, charter is the best choice.

The key to secure data moves is making sure that the chain of custody is not broken, i.e., the package is accompanied by the designated courier at all times, whether on the ground or in the air.

To learn more about data transportation, you can download our eBook: Data Center Relocation: Best Practices and Logistics Tips.


eBook: Data Center Relocation: Best Practices and Logistics Tips

About Mike LoRusso
VP and General Manager Technology Logistics
For over 20 years, Michael has provided logistics expertise to the technology and financial industries. He is focused on delivering quality and cost-effective logistic solutions for his clients for their data relocation and disaster... Read more.
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