Freight Theft – Don’t Become a Victim

A report has come out that global cargo freight has skyrocketed in no small part due to the pandemic and shipping issues. Cargo theft happens many places such as facilities, trains and ports. When it comes to hauling your freight, there are ways to ensure safety and security to get from point A to point B smoothly.

The Data

While the largest chunk of freight theft comes from facilities and warehouses at 29%, container and trailer theft come in at 9% which is the third largest chunk that makes up the 2021 Global Cargo Theft report.

One of the biggest culprits are freight trains transporting goods that have to sit on tracks overnight due to long wait times and companies unable to hire on guard patrol for ever rail line. From the report, they predicted that with 2022 it would only get worse.

Another way that freight theft happens is by employees at warehouses being paid off by crime groups to hand over the freight. It would not be too far fetched to see this increasing as inflation worsens and the cost of living continues to rise.

“Looking forward in 2022 and its ever-changing risk environment, multiple factors, including the effects of inflation, rising transport costs, and black swan events like the pandemic, will have compounding impacts on global supply chains. This will likely result in an environment that is potentially more conducive to threats such as insider participation in 2022.” - A Review of Cargo Crime in 2021 - 2021 Data Trends and Mitigation Advice

So, what is being stolen? With a majority of the products being food and beverage, agricultural being second and tech items being third – there a many other items such as medical supplies, medicals, and automobile parts that are being turned around and sold local and online.

Advances in technology that are being used for criminal activity has only upped the rate at which goods are stolen but there are plenty still that prefer old fashioned methods, such a on-site, direct theft.

Truckers and their companies can mitigate loss

When it comes to trailer and container theft, the top two locations it happens most are truck stops and parking lots. For trailer theft, the goods that are targeted most used to be technology but has shifted to home goods such as furniture, décor and small appliances. Cargo thieves are also prone to strike seasonally, meaning around winter months, clothing, heaters, anything needed in those months are at risk. During the summer, goods that are needed after natural disasters or heat waves are targeted. It all depends on what is in demand. If you need it at that time, you can count on thieves eyeing the trucks that are getting it to you.

You may not be aware but there are criminal organizations that operate by infiltrating carriers and thus it becomes an inside job. Carriers that recognize this can implement practices of not sharing too much information about the goods being hauled and keep it as confidential as it can be.

Another tip is in that same vein is impowering your drivers by sharing the knowledge you have. That may sound contradictory, but this will serve those drivers that feel a sense of responsibility for their cargo. By letting drivers know what is being targeting and sharing updated reports of what is in demands for thieves right now will help them keep an eye out for suspicious situations.

One of the more obvious tips but bears repeating is paying special attention to your environment when in a truck stop or parking lot, or even at the shipper. There are thieves that will stake out and evaluate the drivers that go in and out and communicate that to others that may be lying in wait at a truck stop or local restaurant.

Of course, securing your trailer with air-cuffs and steering column locks is always beneficial and never “too much” either.

The final tip is harnessing the power of technology and using tracking and if possible, covert tracking that will make it difficult for thieves to disengage any device. Another would be using cameras and sensors that can be armed if the driver has to step away from the freight.

If used all together, companies can invest in these practices and lower the risk of theft and not have to worry about trying to recoup their losses. Maybe it is time to up your game and start practicing more security measures to protect your cargo.

You don’t have to worry about your commodity making it to its delivery point with Meadow Lark’s experienced drivers behind the wheel and the latest technology on our side. Call today to learn how we can help you with our guaranteed capacity – (866) 736-5233

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