Every year, shippers and trucking companies are told to keep a more vigilant eye on cargo theft as the holiday season approaches, but this year is especially worrisome as increases in COVID-19 have already lead to higher levels of theft.
*It comes as no surprise that weekends still carry with it a higher theft rate as cargo at rest is cargo at risk, especially true during long holiday weekends when freight can sit for several days, often giving thieves a head start before the freight is reported missing. As CargoNet’s Shannon Elliott notes, “There are a lot of fictitious pickups on Friday afternoons, when people are in a crunch to get their loads moved.”
*Keith Lewis, VP of Operations for CargoNet, explained that fictitious pickups are still on the rise with the product of choice for these types of thefts being metals. Hostage loads are also becoming more popular among drivers. Lewis explains that the first action should be to call law enforcement but that “articulation is key,” noting that police “won’t intervene if it’s viewed as a business dispute.” (1)
*While metal was the product of choice among fictitious pickups, food/beverage remained the most stolen product so far this year. It comes as no surprise that with the shortage of toilet paper/paper towels, cleaning products, etc. due to COVID, household products, especially those of the essence, seen an increase in thefts as well.
*With medical supplies being a lock on target for thieves, the value of stolen goods increased $79,000 year-over-year to $230,000.
*California holds the record as the state with the highest number of thefts so far this year.
*The number of thefts occurring at truck stops, in which thieves target multiple LTL loads at a time, are up 23% this year.
Effects of COVID on Cargo Theft
*North American experienced a jump in cargo theft since the COVID-19 outbreak, with CargoNet citing a 107% increase in April 2020 versus April 2019.
*SensiGuard presented third-quarter findings of a 7% increase in stolen goods compared to 3Q 2019, with home and garden (which includes cleaning supplies, a product in need since the outbreak) taking the lead for the most commonly stolen product during this time.
*According to Saia’s James McDonald, with a reduction in work hours and time in the office due to COVID, more and more insider jobs are occurring.
*COVID has also shut down truck stops, furthering the issue of finding a safe place to park. This allows loads to be more susceptible to theft, with stolentrailer increasing 49% this year and tractor theft 18%. (1)
Be Vigilant and Keep an Eye on your Products
With each day that passes, the odds of recovering stolen cargo drastically decrease, emphasizing the need to keep a close eye on your freight. But you shouldn’t need to stay awake all hours of the night to do so. That’s where Road Scholar Transport can help.
Road Scholar uses a multi-layered approach for the best protection from cargo theft. Here are some ways we’ve been keeping your high valued goods safe during transport since 1988:
*We are a 100% asset-based carrier so you can be sure that a uniformed Road Scholar Transport representative who is constantly trained on the latest cargo theft threats is moving your freight, not an imposter.
*We’ve never suffered a full cargo loss in company history.
*Expedited services are available so that your product is not sitting on a dock for days.
*All shipment locations and temperature ranges are tracked and monitored real time via telematics. Road Scholar uses track, trace, and temperature monitoring solutions to keep an electronic eye on freight.
*Geofencing capability-route and customer specific.
*24 x 7 dispatch and oversight.
*US customs approved Navalock-bolt cutter, sledgehammer and chisel proof. We use the Babaco TRUK-LOC V on high-security loads. A lock that CANNOT be shimmed, lost, cut, stolen, or forgotten.
*Dedicated use and teams.
*Electronic door monitoring providing e-mail alerting, online monitoring/reporting, on-demand GPS location, and complete coverage throughout North & Central America.
*Brightly colored and easily distinguishable awareness trucks.
Check out our high security transport page today.