Stopping Cargo Theft

theft

In Germany cargo thieves unloaded iPhones while the truck was under power at about 55 MPH (90 km/H). This happens dozens times a year in Germany according to Trailermatics. The biggest lure, however, like cargo theft in the U.S., is unattended freight.

Similar thefts once happened to trucks delivering meat to New York City. Drivers were afraid to stop at red lights for fear that someone would bust the lock on the trailer and start unloading the product.

Protecting cargo was the subject of a talk on Wednesday January 27, by Samuel Tucker, CPCU, CRM, CIC. Mr. Tucker is the CEO of Carrier Risk Solutions, Inc., a firm specializing in risk management and insurance solutions.

Carriers have a lot on their plates these days driving down regulation alley. Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine that there are people out there who don’t just want a piece of the action, but want a piece of your action.

In his webinar, Mr. Tucker stated that larger companies often have trained personnel and risk management plans in place to thwart cargo thieves. Smaller carriers often do not.

Remember the Red Zone

About 90% of thefts are untended vehicles. So cargo theft, like most crime, is a crime of opportunity. Criminals will wait for the right moment to strike. Sometimes it will be at a rest stop area. Sometimes it will be when the driver is fueling or even eating.

The Red Zone refers to about a 250 mile radius from the origin of the trip that the cargo is most likely to become stolen. If a high-dollar load is being followed, many times the gang following the truck will break off after 200 to 250 miles.

What this means is that high-dollar loads should minimize or eliminate any stops in the Red Zone. Make sure the truck is fueled up, drivers have enough hours of service, and drivers don’t have to make any unnecessary stops in the first 250 miles.

In a recent study analyzing cargo theft in the pharmaceutical market, it was uncovered that “other” costs actually contributed up to five times the value of the actual stolen shipment. FreightWatch International

Because smaller companies often lack safety resources and cargo theft is becoming more sophisticated with cargo thieves, for example, using GPS jammers and  3D printers to create fake trailer seals, Mr. Tucker has formed a service to fight cargo theft called My Safety Manager.

Included in the My Safety Manager service is Cargo Alert! that alerts drivers when to be on the lookout for “hot” loads or missing tractor trailers.

“The first 24 hours are most critical to get the word out,” Tucker said.

Other advice included:

  • Have a good cargo theft prevention plan for operational and physical exposures.
  • Do full 50 state background checks and pre-hire background screens. Spot-check employees who may have hidden events from their past.
  • Teach employees to be alert and aware. Stay up on what’s happening.
  •  Air cuffs locks and other new technology help prevent cargo thefts.
  • Fictitious pickups are a fact of life. Learn how to properly vet new or unknown drivers picking up trailer-loads at your facilities.

Overall I found the seminar to be highly informative. Mr Tucker can be reached directly at (770) 756-7205 if you have any questions on stopping cargo theft.

Did you know most cargo insurance polices are not the same? Every cargo policy is different — not uniform.

Thank you for reading this.