Everyone looks forward to long holiday weekends, especially
cargo thieves who patiently wait for the right moment to pounce on an
unattended trailer with goods in tow. Cargo theft increases 61% during holidays
with theft at its highest during the Labor Day weekend. With billions of
dollars lost to cargo theft rings, truckers and distributors must focus on
concrete solutions to stop this growing and costly crime.
So for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, we suggest reviewing
safety procedures and cargo theft prevention protocols with your drivers to
protect your freight and preserve your revenue.
Avoid High Crime
Areas – This may seem like common sense but not knowing where you are going
is a good way to end up someplace you have never been, and that may not be a
good place to end up. Route your drivers through areas away from crime hot
spots. Keeping your ear to the ground and knowing where crime is highest is
critical, even if it means taking a longer route to the destination. Areas with
the highest rates of cargo theft include Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, the port
areas of New Jersey and New York and the Chicago metro area.
Keep Moving Forward - Never let your goods sit for long periods of time. 90% of cargo theft in the US occurs when a
trailer is dropped. Unattended trailers are optimal targets for cargo thieves
scouting truck stops and parking areas where drivers drop trailers. Loaded
trailers left at distribution centers or drop yards also make inviting
targets. Make sure that the equipment is
parked inside fenced and locked locations or use a locking mechanism to ensure
that a tractor cannot easily hook up and drive away. Truck stops are the most
vulnerable and require unrequited attention. Work with drivers to make sure
that they have done their trip planning.
This would include identifying fuel stops, locations to layover and even
hotels that have monitored parking areas.
Use Trailer Tracking Devices – Concealed tracking devices allow you to identify
when a truck or trailer goes significantly out of route or leaves a designated
area (geofencing). These devices alert
dispatch and allow you to communicate the position of the vehicle to law
Pick-up and Delivery Protocols – There have been a number of occasions where
shippers have loaded a thief’s truck or an honest driver has delivered a
shipment into the hands of thieves. Make
sure that all drivers are properly identified and that drivers know where they
need to deliver their loads. They need to
see proper identification for personnel and make sure that they are unloading
in the correct location. Remember, when
there is doubt, the driver should contact his/her dispatcher.
Do the Basics –
Train drivers to be aware of their surroundings, to stay alert while driving
and when at a rest stop. Sometimes staying clued into suspicious activity like
trailing vehicles, overdue shipments or unplanned routes can make a big
difference. Apply a variety of locks like king pin locks, air brake valve locks
and glad hand locks. Seals also can deter theft but also alert drivers if doors
have been tampered with.
Cargo thieves are becoming savvier with technology and
infiltrating fleet operations to get at your cargo goods. HUB Transportation
Insurance experts can help you implement cargo safety,
driver training and risk management protocols to protect your goods and your
Steve Bojan, Vice President Fleet Risk Services provides
risk management and fleet safety consulting services to business and trucking
HUB Transportation expert today.