Cargo theft is a major concern in the trucking industry. Transportation companies need to protect their drivers, their customers’ cargo, and their financial assets. For drivers, staying safe while also looking after cargo on the road takes special care.
Here are a few tips how to help protect your cargo and avoid theft:
1. Watch Out for Hot Spots
There are certain hot spots throughout the country and in just about any major metropolitan area that you want to avoid or at least be very careful when driving through. Most hot spots are found in large metropolitan areas where certain factors allow for cargo-thieving operations to thrive. One factor is the amount of freight that moves through the area. Places that see large volumes are often the focus for thieves. Unsecured truck stops, major interstate interchanges and seaports are all popular thieving areas as well. It’s important to train your drivers to look out for and avoid hot spots when possible. Truck drivers need to be extra vigilant if entering one of these areas.
2. Pay Attention While Stopped
Cargo that isn’t moving can be a sitting duck for thieves. It is extra important to keep an even closer eye on the truck and its freight when it is not in motion. When the driver is stopped for the night, visiting a truck stop or making a delivery, these are prime times for criminals to take advantage.
3. Know Who You Are Working With
From a company perspective, you will want to have full trust in your drivers and perform thorough background checks. In addition, the more you can know about where freight is being delivered, who is receiving it, who is providing security, etc., the safer your drivers will be when making stops.
4. Use of Security Technology
Cargo thieves are increasingly innovative with the technology and scams they use. You and your drivers can fight fire with fire by ramping up your own security systems and procedures. There is a lot of great safety and security technology on the market that can protect your drivers and their freight from the threat of thieves. The higher the value the cargo, the more advanced your security system needs to be. Good security systems can also help to control insurance costs.
5. Communication Throughout the Supply Chain
One of the best ways to prevent cargo theft is to stay ahead of the game as much as possible. This can be done with strategic planning and effective communication from one end of the supply chain to the other. Every step of the delivery can be planned out and all key people should be informed and in regular communication. This helps prevent mistakes and ensures that everyone knows exactly what should happen and when. When you eliminate surprises and minimize the variables, there are fewer chances of things going wrong and a better chance of catching a problem.