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How to Prevent Cargo Theft

Cargo theft has been an issue faced by truck drivers and 3PL companies specializing in intermodal drayage for years. Cargo thieves are slippery fellows, with sophisticated techniques to clear out a trailer before anyone can say boo to a goose. From tracking carriers to scouting out dark parking lots where long haul vehicles are parked for the night, a burglar’s tricks are endless. It’s important for drivers to  always be alert and use the latest security technology to safeguard valuable cargo- especially electronics. For the third quarter of 2016, CargoNet recorded $23.7 million worth of cargo stolen in the US, with electronics constituting $7.8 million of that loss.

Read on for helpful tips to keep your cargo safe from prying hands!

  1. Keep cargo in constant motion: That means staying on top of the truck stops along your supply chain. Thieves seek out containers and trailers, and if a vehicle is left unattended for long periods of time, every passing minute increases the risk of theft. Before a shipment goes out, establish a set plan for how long a truck can sit at a stopping point for, and make sure every stop is recorded- place and time. This allows you to know where your cargo is at all times, so you can be prepared.
  2. It’s all about the hot spots: Breathe easy- cargo theft isn’t rampant everywhere! But, there are neighborhoods, cities and truck stops that are known to be hotspots for theft. Learn about these specific areas, so if your cargo happens to pass through, you know whether to ramp up the security measures or not. Remember- cargo theft spikes on the weekends (especially Saturday) and around the holidays.
  3. Think like a thief: Successful thieves pay attention to the details, waiting until a driver lets their guard down to strike. From prying open carrier doors to purposely setting off tracking alarms to mislead cargo monitors, sophisticated thieves know how to take advantage of forgotten details- like a key left in the ignition or an unlocked door. Learn to think like a thief: be aware of your surroundings and where you park your truck, make sure container/trailer doors are properly sealed shut and park in well-lit parking lots.
Courtney L.
February 28, 2017
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