Cargo Theft to Spike 30-40%

Cargo theft

Expect cargo theft to spike between 30-40% over this holiday weekend.

Want to help protect yourself?

Check out our tips below:

The best things to do focus around protecting the cargo while it is at rest. This is especially true when it is in a trailer at a truck stop or in an unsecured lot (meaning no 24 hour guard service on premises).

Most of cargo theft prevention is getting the thieves to pass by your truck/trailer in order to find something easier to steal.

Cargo Theft Prevention at Terminals

At a terminal location, you’ll want to try to do as much of the following as possible:
  • Background check ALL employees, drivers, independent contractors and especially temporary or seasonal workers.
  • Install and regularly test a central station alarm system that covers every window, door and other accessible way into your facility.
  • Place a heavy duty padlock (see below) on any roof access ladder.
  • Install a CCTV camera system that monitors many different parts of your facility, but especially where trucks and/or people could enter and exit. Restrict access to the DVR that records those cameras.
  • Prevent drivers, other employees or anyone else from being able to see sensitive information about loads that aren’t assigned to them.
  • Don’t allow drivers or others to randomly roam throughout your facility.
  • Have your employees immediately challenge any person who comes to your location in order to determine their purpose for being there. Good business practice, but great cargo theft prevention!
  • Ensure that all doors and windows can be properly latched. Ensure that this is done anytime that the building will be vacant.
  • Meet with local law enforcement to help them understand the nature of your operations and ask them to inform you of any suspicious activity in the area. I hear that providing them with some treats on a somewhat regular basis may help as well!


Physical Cargo Theft Protection

Over the road, most cargo theft can be foiled for about $100 or so per truck/trailer and some good driver education.
Each trailer should always have a heavy duty padlock on the trailer doors at all times.
These are the best ones that I’ve found:
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These cost about $30 each and send a clear sign to anyone attempting to break into the back of a parked trailer that they better bring a lunch, because they’re going to be there for a while trying to get this bad boy off.
This really helps combat the low level “crime of opportunity” type criminals who are looking for an easy score.
The more determined/sophisticated criminal will require a bit more deterrence.
In addition to the secure padlock, we also recommend providing air cuff locks in each power unit. Since these require that each driver attach the lock when they leave the cab, you’ll have to develop a system for checking for compliance.
Here is what they look like. We always suggest the Enforcer series lock from Transport Security.
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Here is another more generic version that may work as well and you can purchase on Amazon. These may be as effective, but they’re not as noticeable to a would be thief peeking through a cab window.

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Here is how they work:
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Operational Cargo Theft Prevention

In terms of driver theft prevention, the most important thing is to have them be aware of their surroundings at all times, including if they can determine if they are being followed. Here are some other great tips:
  • Avoid parking/leaving the vehicle unattended for any long period of time.
  • Try to avoid stopping within the first 200-300 miles of any trip to help defeat any potential vehicle that may be tailing them. Oftentimes, a group of thieves will tail a truck and wait for them to stop at a truck stop or lunch location, etc. and then pounce once the driver leaves the truck. This is more common in this “250 mile Red-Zone”, as the criminals will target commodities based on their surveillance of a shipper’s location. For instance, if they have determined that a certain product is only shipped via a particular distribution center, they will target trucks leaving that location and tail them to try to steal the load.
  • The other really important thing to remember is which areas to avoid stopping in. You can collect info from your drivers and other sources about which truck stops to avoid, compile that list and share it with all of your drivers on a regular basis.

cargo theft

  • Cargo theft, in general, is specific to a few major locations. Those are:
  1. The Chicagoland area
  2. Southern Florida
  3. Metro Atlanta
  4. Southern California
  5. Memphis, TN area
  6. Southern Texas
  7. New York City/ Newark,New Jersey Metro areas
These are major port areas which involve lots of truck traffic, but more importantly it provides thieves a very quick way to get the cargo on a container and headed overseas.
Hopefully this helps! I’ve written quite a bit on this topic and you can find out much more on our blog by clicking here.
I was also featured in FleetOwner Magazine’s cargo theft story as well. Check out that article here!
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or if we can help with anything!

Take care and have a great Independence Day!!