BSI and TT Club recently released its 2020 Cargo Theft Report, which analyzed 2019’s cargo theft data across the globe. Here were some key takeaways according to the report:
*Trucking remained the mode of choice for thieves, accounting for 87% of thefts (up 3% from 2018) followed by facility, 10% (down 3% YOY), other 2%, and sea 1%.
*Food/beverages remained the commodity of choice among theives, consisting of 28% of thefts (+19% YOY), followed by electronics at 13% (+6% YOY) and alcohol and tobacco at 10% ( down 5% YOY).
*37% of thefts occurred while in transit (+8% YOY) with 16% happening at rest stops and 14% at warehouses (+3% YOY). Unsecured truck parking thefts averaged 8 a day across the globe.
*South America had the greatest theft value average at $100,000 with North America experiencing an $80,000 average theft per incident.
*The most cargo thefts occurred in Mexico (66% of thefts) followed by the United States (26%).
*In the United States and Canada, where strict hours-of-service regulations has forced drivers to pull over, often in unsecure locations, most thefts involved trucks that were left unattended. In Mexico and Central America, however, thieves commonly stole trucks through force, such as through the use of weapons or hostage situations.
Read the full report here.
How to Reduce the Risk
Carrier Risk Solutions’ CEO Sam Tucker offers the below 12 simple and effective ways to prevent cargo theft:
1) Avoid having the truck stop within 250 to 300 miles of beginning the trip. Many times, cargo thieves will target a particular truck. They will follow the truck and wait for the driver to stop for an extended period (food, shower, bathroom, etc.). The brief separation between the driver and the truck offers criminals the perfect opportunity to sweep in and take the load.
2) To help achieve number 1, ensure that you or your driver is well rested, has enough hours of service remaining, and has taken care of their basic human needs prior to beginning their trip.
3) Drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times and this is especially true when discussing cargo theft prevention. They must pay close attention to see if anyone may be following them. When choosing where to park during extended trips, opt for areas where other trucks are that are well lit and that provide some natural opportunities for prevention like backing up close to an embankment or building, etc. Doing this will provide some natural barriers to entry for the trailer while the activity will promote any suspicious activity being noted and/or reported more quickly.
4) Most cargo theft can be prevented for less than $100 per truck. This is accomplished by using a heavy duty padlock on the rear door(s) of the trailer and an “Air Cuff” lock in the tractor. The padlock discourages would be thieves from popping and shopping in the back of the truck while the air-cuff lock prevents the physical movement of the tractor by preventing the tractor and trailer brakes from being released. The leading air cuff lock can be purchased for around $75. Use the remaining $25 to purchase a hardened steel padlock with a protected shackle. Many times cargo theft comes down to an ease of doing business for the criminals. If your truck appears to be well protected, they may pass up the chance to make you a statistic.
5) Avoid dropping trailers or waiting for delivery in one of the “Hot Zone” areas mentioned above. This is especially true around holidays and weekends as activity around the area will likely be at a minimum.
6) Consider hiring extra security guards, especially around weekends and holiday periods. Make sure that those guards are well screened and that your contract with the security company doesn’t limit their liability in case of a cargo theft on their watch.
7) Be very clear about your expectations for the security guards. Prohibit them from allowing their friends/family to visit them at work and ensure that they make regular but random checks throughout your lot despite the weather or temperature. Consider using some monitoring programs to verify that checks are being made.
8) Make sure that all areas of your lot are well lit and can be seen by passing law enforcement officers. Challenge any suspicious person(s) visiting your business or possibly conducting surveillance on your terminal or warehouse location.
9) Make local law enforcement friends of your business! Invite them in for coffee and donuts (or whatever) once a month. Talk with them about your operation and the kinds of activities that might look suspicious.
10) Don’t skimp on locks and cameras for your terminal and lot. Invest in high quality locks for all exterior windows and doors and spend some extra money on a serious camera system if you are going to purchase one.
11) Ensure that all locks are actually working and engaged when the terminal location is unoccupied and that your security system is operational and armed. Some very smart thieves will “test” your security system for you by triggering your alarm system a few times prior to making their move in order to understand your response and that of local law enforcement. This is especially true if you have warehousing and/or storage at your terminal location and even more so if you ship/receive high value goods.
12) Engineer your business to have fewer loads around holiday periods. If the goods aren’t expected to arrive until Monday, potential thieves have a very nice head start on getting further away with the goods. Time is an enemy here.
Road Scholar Transport Can Help:
A multi-layered approach needs to be taken for the best protection from cargo theft. Here are some ways Road Scholar Transport is helping keep your high valued goods safe during transport:
*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.
*Need secure shipping services? We’ve never suffered a full cargo loss in company history.
*Expedited freight 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 from Orbcomm to keep an electronic eye on freight.
*Geofencing capability-route and customer specific.
*24 x 7 dispatch and oversight.
*Secure freight/cargo trailer security-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.
It is important to carefully vet out local trucking companies to find those with a proven expertise of cargo theft knowledge and security. Learn more here.
Want more trucking industry news? Visit our blog page as we keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in the industry.