Cargo theft is an unpredictable year-round occurrence, but the holiday season is a prime time for freight thefts. With the 4th of July quickly approaching, it’s a great time to learn what you can do to help prevent theft. In fact, the 4th of July in particular, sees a significant increase in the amount of stealing happens during the 4th of July holiday due to the long weekend, when most facility workers and truckers are off duty. This time of year becomes an attractive opportunity for cargo thieves. In 2020, 25% of all cargo thefts happened between the 1st and the 7th of July, resulting in a $5,9 billion loss value.
Usually, freight theft takes place in major cities and ports. According to the recent report by CargoNet, the most targeted states are Texas, California, and Florida, and the top targeted commodity types are food and beverage, household goods, and building materials. The most common spots for stealing goods are parking lots and unsecured yards. Quite often the actual cargo theft occurs in broad daylight upon pick-up, but no one realizes it until the freight doesn’t show up at the destination when expected.
During the holidays, truck drivers park their vehicles and trailers for either the day or an extended period of time, making loads vulnerable. Though there is a higher probability of theft during this time, some measures can be taken to eliminate the crime and protect goods.
Often shipment thefts occur because of accidental data breaches or human errors, so make sure to conduct background checks and screen all employees, carriers, and anyone that has access to shipment information and details. Unfortunately, inside cargo theft is also a growing problem in today’s freight industry. So, utilize all the resources to verify carrier and employee safety and identity. Ultimately, implementing strict and standardized security screening procedures is crucial for preventing cargo theft.
Using technology like GPS and shipment tracking can help companies keep track of their assets in the case of cargo theft. There are various tech solutions available, like apps with an alarm option. It notifies you when the vehicle or driver moves outside of its scheduled route. Additionally, it’s useful to monitor various available resources that report suspicious activity. That will help you identify red flags better, too. If you see anything suspicious - don’t hesitate to report it. The more information is out there, the easier it is to keep your freight safe.
Cargo is always at a certain risk whenever the truck stops for a long time. To reduce your chance of cargo theft, try limiting the need for weekend transits that could include excessive dwell time. If you are a carrier entering an area where cargo theft is common, plan accordingly and make sure that your truck isn’t left alone for a long period of time. Additionally, consider that scheduling loads during holiday time increase the probability of your cargo being stolen.
As we come up with better practices to keep our freight safe, fraudulent activity evolves simultaneously and becomes more and more sophisticated. It’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks and take all the precautions possible. With all the safety measures, you make sure to eliminate the cargo theft rate and secure yourself from the frustrations.
Most importantly, if you are approached by someone attempting to steal, stay safe by complying to their demands and try to take in as much information about their appearance as you can for the police report. Cargo can be replaced, and your safety is what is most important.