Trucking Safety Tip of the Month: Cargo Theft

Cargo Theft Image

In 2016, there were 1,614 incidents of cargo theft, heavy commercial vehicle theft, and supply chain fraud in the United States.

This month’s Trucking Safety Tip of the Month post aims to educate the trucking community on the pervasiveness of cargo theft and how to prevent it.

5 Steps Toward Preventing Cargo Theft

According to CargoNet, the number of cargo thefts fell for the third consecutive year in 2016. However, the value of stolen goods rose 13.3 percent to $114 million. Here are a few tips on how to prevent cargo theft.

#1 Know the Hot Commodities.

Product that is in high demand among society is in high demand among theft rings. Food and beverages remained the most common stolen cargo in 2016, followed by electronics.

A current example of stolen hot commodities would be the 313  iPhone X devices that were taken out of a UPS truck on November 2nd. The heist was estimated to be worth more than $370,000, and happened the day before the product launch.

If your load contains high-value or hot commodities, be extra cautious.

#2 Beware of Hot Spots.

Last year, the top three states for cargo thefts were California, Texas, and New Jersey. This comes as no surprise since California and New Jersey house the three largest container ports in North America, and Texas is at the center of cross-border freight.

It’s not only where you travel, but also when you travel. There are higher instances of theft on weekends, with Friday being the most common day.

#3 Invest in Technology.

High tech gear such as GPS tracking devices and geofencing apps are becoming more commonplace in today’s fleets. Some motor carriers have even gone above and beyond by installing technology that can remotely immobilize a stolen vehicle.

However, not everyone has the budget for a technological army. Which is why padlocks and king pin locks are still recommended to aid in thwarting a thief.

#4 Keep the Destination a Secret.

You never know who is eavesdropping on your conversations. This includes any and all radio communication. Be sure to only communicate the destination of your load on a need to know basis.

#5 Establish Best Practices.

Does your fleet have guidelines available to drivers that communicate the above information on thwarting cargo thieves? Responsibility starts with the motor carrier.

Also, be sure to educate your drivers to park in well lit areas, where other trucks are present. Training your team to park tail-to-tail, if possible, is another best practice.

Truck Writers works with its trucking clients to improve their safety cultures. To setup a meeting with an agent, contact Truck Writers today.

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