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How to Avoid Cargo Theft? 5 Tips for Cargo Theft Prevention

Trucks move a substantial amount of valuable goods over the roads, which makes them an attractive object for stealing. Cargo theft is especially common during the holidays or weekends. At this time, truck drivers park their vehicles and trailers for either the day or an extended period of time, making loads vulnerable. Cargo theft occurs from time to time and normally takes place in areas close to major cities. Shippers and carriers can take measures to increase cargo security and eliminate chances of cargo theft, using cargo theft prevention tips.

How to Stop Cargo Theft?

Keep Track of Employees and Check Carrierscargo theft prevention

Make sure to conduct background checks and screen all employees, carriers, and anyone that has access to shipment information and details. Inside cargo theft is a growing problem in today’s freight industry and happens more than many companies can imagine. Additionally, make sure that shipment information is kept private and screen employees and carriers that will be dealing with shipments to help prevent possible incidents. Utilize all the resources to verify carrier safety and identity and make sure all the information matches. Ultimately, implementing strict and standardized security screening procedures is crucial for preventing cargo theft.

Take Advantage of Technology

Using advanced 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. If you see anything suspicious, don’t hesitate to report it. The more information that is out there, the easier it is to keep your freight safe.

Minimize Wait Time

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 into 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.

What are the most commonly stolen commodities?

The most commonly targeted products are food and beverage, high-value electronics, apparel, and lower-value retail products. These goods are easy to resell and aren’t usually as protected for cost-efficiency reasons.

Where does cargo theft usually happen?

Cargo theft often happens at truck stops and parking lots, especially in poorly-lit areas with no surveillance. Also, it is a common incident after hours at carrier terminals and facilities with limited security. 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.

Cargo Theft Prevention

The cargo theft ratio has been steadily rising year over year. 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.

Shocking Statistics about Cargo Theft

A new report finds that the number of recorded cargo thefts and the average value of the freight attacks declined in 2015. But, regardless of this data, cargo theft is a real problem. Cargo’s value continues to increase, and thieves are sophisticated. Cargo theft is estimated to cost shippers and trucking companies at least $30 billion a year in the US, according to the FBI.

Most cargo theft occurs on the weekend and when the freight has been left unattended. In 2012, food and drink were the most targeted cargo, accounting for 19% of all thefts that year. Although pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics are a popular target, food and drink items are still the number 1 most targeted freight, accounting for about 28% of all stolen cargo in 2015. Building and industrial materials are growing targets for freight thieves.

A quick look at cargo theft numbers:

  • There is an average of 63 cargo thefts per month.
  • Florida, California, and Texas see the highest frequency of cargo theft.
  • Warehouse burglaries are the highest-value incidents because of the volume of products in one location.
  • 49% of thefts occur between Friday and Sunday.
  • 90% of cargo theft in the US occurred at an unsecured or unattended location.
  • 61% of cargo theft loss occurred at a truck stop or official rest stop.

Can you stop your freight from being targeted and stolen?

Not entirely. But, there are approaches and best practices to follow in order to improve your freight’s security.

  • Drivers are the first defense against cargo theft. Make sure the driver is aware of the freight’s value and sincere threats.
  • Increase communication among shippers, 3PLs, carriers, and law enforcement. Shippers can choose to vary the shipment route to deter crime. Today’s thieves plan and survey the freight they want to steal and changing routes can throw them off.
  • Encourage regular warehouse inspections. During an inspection, identify any vulnerabilities in the freight’s security.
  • Track inventory, so that it can be quickly discovered if there are any significant changes.
  • Stay current on what’s happening in cargo theft trends. Cargo could be targeted based on seasonality or location.

Thieves will constantly look for ways to beat your security procedures, but by maintaining communication and inspection routines, your freight can get to its destination safely.

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