This publish is a part of a sequence sponsored by IAT Insurance coverage Group.
Cargo theft stays a outstanding menace to the transportation business. In a single high-profile case in 2022, three Florida males stole roughly $9 million price of beef and pork from refrigerated vans that had left meatpacking crops within the Midwest and Nice Plains over the course of a yr.
Within the second half of 2022, stories 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 widespread targets, higher-value items, corresponding to automobiles, electronics and prescribed drugs are also often focused.
The 4 commonest cargo theft situations 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 gear at truck stops, relaxation areas and gasoline islands when drivers are refueling, utilizing the amenities 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 as a way 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 finest practices to guard your masses
As cargo theft continues to develop and evolve, firms can implement defensive measures to mitigate losses, together with the next:
- Use GPS monitoring for energy items and trailers. Transportable monitoring gadgets might help find a stolen automobile or lacking trailer. Nevertheless, this isn’t an all-encompassing answer, as they are often disabled in varied methods or the sign could be blocked
- Implement cargo monitoring. Devoted cargo trackers could 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 cellphone expertise. They’re additionally extra expensive. Prices could be minimized by including trackers to a choose variety of merchandise (not all of them), as criminals usually steal in batches. Use sufficient trackers in merchandise that at the very least one tracker will doubtless 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 people who perceive the procedures taken to maintain their cargo, gear and most significantly, themselves away from hurt. Work as a crew with the driving force previous to loading, reminding them of the additional procedures that must be taken on these kinds of 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 price of gasoline and sufficient hours of service to journey that distance earlier than choosing up a load. This might help to scale back stops and thieves could turn into disenchanted with the cargo because it will get previous their goal zone.
- Practice your drivers. Guarantee drivers know that vans and trailers must be locked and sealed, and that they need to determine protected, well-lit parking areas earlier than leaving the automobile. Further 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 focus on 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 lengthen to dispatchers, masses planners, warehouse and dock staff, not simply drivers. Notice that warehouse staff don’t have to know the routes drivers take to succeed in their vacation spot, which might additional shield a load from potential theft.
- Buy satisfactory cargo protection. Firms ought to decide if they’ve the correct 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 adjustments.
Solely a small proportion of cargo thieves are caught and prosecuted. And solely a small proportion of stolen cargo is ever recovered. Many regulation enforcement groups would not have the manpower to commit to these kinds of circumstances over higher-profile crimes. Taking steps to make masses much less enticing and tougher to steal, might help to scale back cargo theft.
For extra data on defending towards 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 automobiles, electronics,” Could 31, 2022.
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