This submit is a part of a sequence sponsored by IAT Insurance coverage Group.
Cargo theft stays a outstanding risk to the transportation business. 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 yr.
Within the second half of 2022, studies of cargo theft and fraud rose 27% year-over-year. Parking heaps and truck stops are the commonest location for cargo theft incidents however secured yards will not be immune from cargo theft.1 Though family items and meals merchandise stay frequent targets, higher-value items, corresponding to automobiles, electronics and prescription drugs are also regularly focused.
The 4 most typical cargo theft eventualities 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 services 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 the intention to facilitate a theft.
- Organized crime: Organized teams of criminals have refined techniques in place to perform cargo heists, as demonstrated within the beef and pork heists talked about above.
7 greatest practices to guard your masses
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. Transportable monitoring gadgets may also help find a stolen car or lacking trailer. Nevertheless, this isn’t an all-encompassing resolution, as they are often disabled in varied methods or the sign will be blocked
- Implement cargo monitoring. Devoted cargo trackers will be included with load contents, providing an opportunity to trace stolen merchandise wherever they go. Shipments of high-value attire or pharmaceutical gadgets, for instance, could 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 will be minimized by including trackers to a choose variety of merchandise (not all of them), as criminals sometimes steal in batches. Use sufficient trackers in merchandise that at the very least one tracker will probably be taken in a batch of stolen product.
- Put skilled drivers in your higher-value masses. Use trusted drivers, those that have hauled quite a lot of masses together with excessive worth masses, and those that perceive the procedures taken to maintain their cargo, tools and most significantly, themselves away from hurt. Work as a group with the motive force previous to loading, reminding them of the additional procedures that needs to be taken on most of these masses.
- Plan your routes. Remind drivers to keep away from pink zones and excessive crime-rate areas, notably 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 could change into disenchanted with the cargo because it will get previous their goal zone.
- Practice your drivers. Guarantee drivers know that vehicles and trailers needs to be locked and sealed, and that they need to establish protected, well-lit parking areas earlier than leaving the car. Extra measures embody positioning the trailer to a construction to forestall the doorways from being opened. Look ahead to automobiles following the truck and don’t talk about the cargo with others both — on the telephone or over the CB radio.
- Make use of good hiring practices and leverage background checks. Good hiring practices ought to prolong to dispatchers, masses planners, warehouse and dock employees, not simply drivers. Observe that warehouse employees don’t must know the routes drivers take to achieve their vacation spot, which might additional defend a load from potential theft.
- Buy enough cargo protection. Corporations ought to decide if they’ve the right quantity of cargo insurance coverage, particularly as the price of items rise. Work along with your insurance coverage agent to treatment gaps, and think about using a cargo rider for particular, high-value masses. Modify your protection as enterprise scales up or winds down, or your product combine modifications.
Solely a small share of cargo thieves are caught and prosecuted. And solely a small share of stolen cargo is ever recovered. Many regulation enforcement groups wouldn’t have the manpower to dedicate to most of these instances over higher-profile crimes. Taking steps to make masses much less enticing and tougher to steal, may also help to cut back cargo theft.
For extra data on defending in opposition to the specter of cargo theft, contact IAT.
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 Verisk “Winter Vacation Cargo Theft Developments and Safety Greatest Practices 2022,” December 16, 2022.
 Enterprise Insurance coverage “Cargo losses escalate as thieves goal vehicles, electronics,” Could 31, 2022.
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