We’re only just over a month into 2019 and there have already been a number of reports of cargo theft on America’s highways.
It’s more important than ever to keep yourself safe on the road and protect your cargo from would-be thieves. They’re organized, ready, sophisticated, and successful. What’s an honest Trucker to do?
The best way to combat this problem is with knowledge – the who, what, when, and where of cargo theft. TruckLogics has the inside dirt to help you beat cargo thieves!
What Are Cargo Thieves After?
Whether you’re a trucking company owner operator or a driver yourself, you’re probably hauling something of general value these days. Electronics, pharmaceuticals, clothing, and food goods continue to be targeted by thieves.
According to the FBI, cargo theft losses total $15 to $30 billion annually – an average that is expected to peak in the coming months. Historically, the period between Labor Day and the December Holidays is the worst for cargo theft.
During the second quarter of 2018, the most costly commodities stolen from trucks were electronics—$14.6 million worth of them. The most commonly stolen items, meanwhile, were food and beverage items, totaling $3.8 million.
During the same period, 297 cases of cargo theft, identity theft, vehicle theft, and other criminal intelligence matters within the U.S. and Canadian transportation industry were reported. A single incident of cargo theft was valued at an estimated $8 million alone.
Many cargo thieves tend to target food and beverage items because many fresh goods don’t have serial numbers and can be more difficult to trace. US food products generally lack any type of RFID tracking tag attached or hidden in their packaging.
How Do They Do It?
Modern cargo thieves display a great level of sophistication. Many thieves today focus on shipping facilities, surveilling their establishments and tracking the route times of truck departures and arrivals. However, that doesn’t mean truckstops have suddenly become completely safe. All too often, truckers find themselves under risk of theft or bodily harm in the name of a quick buck. And it’s not as simple as making sure your cab doors are locked anymore.
We probably don’t need to remind you that no matter what you’re hauling, a trucker salary isn’t worth putting yourself in unnecessary danger. Not everyone is on your side, but luckily for you, TruckLogics is! Here are some common-sense tips to help you avoid theft on your next truck route!
Loss Prevention & Safety Tips for Drivers:
- Do not discuss the nature of your cargo with strangers.
- If carrying valuable cargo, travel at least 250 miles before stopping in case you are being followed.
- If you need to relay your cargo to another fleet member, make the transfer face-to-face.
- Never separate a valuable load from your vehicle unless it is in a locked and secure area.
- When separated, always secure your trailer with a kingpin lock or additional locks for extra security.
- Always lock up your truck and trailer while parked, even when still inside.
- Only park in well-lit, populated areas.
Loss Prevention & Safety Tips for the Owner-Operator:
- Complete full background checks on all new employees and contractors.
- Know the value of your cargo.
- Safeguard all important registration and insurance documents.
- Always use experienced drivers to transport valuable cargo.
- Provide driver safety and awareness training.
- Develop formal security procedures for your drivers in case something happens.
- Invest in quality locks and security devices for your vehicles and trailers.
- Consider using Assisted Global Positioning System (AGPS) devices.
- Regularly check your Safety Measurement System (SMS) report for any fraudulent activity.
At TruckLogics, our goal is to help trucking companies streamline fleet management in every way, including actively reducing cargo theft. If you are ever the victim of theft, our sister product ExpressTruckTax can help you deal with the aftermath! Their software allows you to report any stolen vehicle for tax credit. They’ll even let you transfer the taxes to your new truck with ease. You can even do it all with their convenient mobile app!
With a 100% US-based customer service team and nationally coordinated data-sharing system, ExpressTruckTax is designed to help your trucking company decrease losses and increase profits.
Stay tuned to TruckLogics for more trucking news!