This submit is a part of a collection sponsored by IAT Insurance coverage Group.
Cargo theft stays a outstanding menace to the transportation trade. In a single high-profile case in 2022, three Florida males stole roughly $9 million value of beef and pork from refrigerated vehicles that had left meatpacking vegetation within the Midwest and Nice Plains over the course of a 12 months.
Within the second half of 2022, reviews of cargo theft and fraud rose 27% year-over-year. Parking tons and truck stops are the most typical location for cargo theft incidents however secured yards will not be immune from cargo theft.1 Though family items and meals merchandise stay widespread targets, higher-value items, resembling autos, electronics and prescription drugs are also steadily focused.
The 4 commonest cargo theft situations embody:
- Pink zones: Areas with ports and main interstate junctions proceed to be hotspots for criminals, together with California, Texas, Georgia, Florida and Illinois.1
- Hijacking: Criminals are getting bolder, taking alternatives to steal cargo and even hijacking tools at truck stops, relaxation areas and gasoline islands when drivers are refueling, utilizing the amenities and whereas taking an hours of service (HOS) break.
- Inside jobs: An worker with detailed data of the cargo together with the origin and vacation spot factors is aware of when and the place a high-value cargo could also be weak and have tipped off an outsider on these particulars with a purpose to facilitate a theft.
- Organized crime: Organized teams of criminals have refined programs in place to perform cargo heists, as demonstrated within the beef and pork heists talked about above.
7 finest practices to guard your hundreds
As cargo theft continues to develop and evolve, corporations can implement defensive measures to mitigate losses, together with the next:
- Use GPS monitoring for energy items and trailers. Moveable monitoring gadgets may also help find a stolen automobile or lacking trailer. Nonetheless, this isn’t an all-encompassing resolution, as they are often disabled in numerous methods or the sign could be blocked
- Implement cargo monitoring. Devoted cargo trackers could be included with load contents, providing an opportunity to trace stolen merchandise wherever they go. Shipments of high-value attire or pharmaceutical objects, for instance, might use these, that are extra dependable than their GPS cousins as a result of they use cellular phone expertise. They’re additionally extra expensive. Prices could be minimized by including trackers to a choose variety of merchandise (not all of them), as criminals usually steal in batches. Use sufficient trackers in merchandise that at the very least one tracker will doubtless be taken in a batch of stolen product.
- Put skilled drivers in your higher-value hundreds. Use trusted drivers, those that have hauled quite a lot of hundreds together with excessive worth hundreds, and those that perceive the procedures taken to maintain their cargo, tools and most significantly, themselves away from hurt. Work as a crew with the motive force previous to loading, reminding them of the additional procedures that ought to be taken on most of these hundreds.
- Plan your routes. Remind drivers to keep away from crimson zones and excessive crime-rate areas, significantly when stopping or parking. Drivers ought to have a minimal of 200 miles value of gasoline and sufficient hours of service to journey that distance earlier than choosing up a load. This may also help to cut back stops and thieves might turn into disenchanted with the cargo because it will get previous their goal zone.
- Prepare your drivers. Guarantee drivers know that vehicles and trailers ought to be locked and sealed, and that they need to establish secure, well-lit parking areas earlier than leaving the automobile. Further measures embody positioning the trailer to a construction to forestall the doorways from being opened. Look ahead to autos following the truck and don’t focus on the cargo with others both — on the cellphone or over the CB radio.
- Make use of good hiring practices and leverage background checks. Good hiring practices ought to lengthen to dispatchers, hundreds planners, warehouse and dock employees, not simply drivers. Word that warehouse employees don’t have to know the routes drivers take to succeed in their vacation spot, which may additional shield a load from potential theft.
- Buy ample cargo protection. Corporations ought to decide if they’ve the correct quantity of cargo insurance coverage, particularly as the price of items rise. Work together with your insurance coverage agent to treatment gaps, and think about using a cargo rider for particular, high-value hundreds. Alter your protection as enterprise scales up or winds down, or your product combine modifications.
Solely a small proportion of cargo thieves are caught and prosecuted. And solely a small proportion of stolen cargo is ever recovered. Many legislation enforcement groups would not have the manpower to dedicate to most of these instances over higher-profile crimes. Taking steps to make hundreds much less engaging and tougher to steal, may also help to cut back cargo theft.
For extra info on defending towards the specter of cargo theft, contact IAT.
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 Verisk “Winter Vacation Cargo Theft Developments and Safety Finest Practices 2022,” December 16, 2022.
 Enterprise Insurance coverage “Cargo losses escalate as thieves goal vehicles, electronics,” Might 31, 2022.
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