Mitigating Threat within the Rising Battle Towards Cargo Theft

This submit is a part of a collection sponsored by IAT Insurance coverage Group.

Cargo theft stays a distinguished 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 vehicles that had left meatpacking vegetation within the Midwest and Nice Plains over the course of a 12 months.

Within the second half of 2022, experiences of cargo theft and fraud rose 27% year-over-year.[1] Parking tons and truck stops are the most typical 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, reminiscent of automobiles, electronics and prescription drugs are also steadily focused.[2]

The 4 commonest cargo theft eventualities 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 with a purpose to facilitate a theft.
  • Organized crime: Organized teams of criminals have refined programs in place to perform cargo heists, as demonstrated within the beef and pork heists talked about above.

7 greatest practices to guard your hundreds

As cargo theft continues to develop and evolve, corporations can implement defensive measures to mitigate losses, together with the next:

  1. Use GPS monitoring for energy items and trailers. Transportable monitoring units might help find a stolen automobile or lacking trailer. Nonetheless, this isn’t an all-encompassing answer, as they are often disabled in varied methods or the sign could be blocked
  2. 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, might use these, that are extra dependable than their GPS cousins as a result of they use cellphone expertise. They’re additionally extra pricey. 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 no less than one tracker will possible be taken in a batch of stolen product.
  3. Put skilled drivers in your higher-value hundreds. Use trusted drivers, those that have hauled a wide range of hundreds together with excessive worth hundreds, and people who perceive the procedures taken to maintain their cargo, gear and most significantly, themselves away from hurt. Work as a workforce with the driving force previous to loading, reminding them of the additional procedures that needs to be taken on these kinds of hundreds.
  4. Plan your routes. Remind drivers to keep away from purple zones and excessive crime-rate areas, significantly 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 might turn out to be disenchanted with the cargo because it will get previous their goal zone.
  5. Prepare your drivers. Guarantee drivers know that vehicles and trailers needs to be locked and sealed, and that they need to establish secure, 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 talk about the cargo with others both — on the cellphone or over the CB radio.
  6. Make use of good hiring practices and leverage background checks. Good hiring practices ought to prolong to dispatchers, hundreds planners, warehouse and dock employees, not simply drivers. Be aware that warehouse employees don’t must know the routes drivers take to succeed in their vacation spot, which might additional shield a load from potential theft.
  7. Buy enough cargo protection. Corporations ought to decide if they’ve the right 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 hundreds. Alter your protection as enterprise scales up or winds down, or your product combine adjustments.

Solely a small share of cargo thieves are caught and prosecuted. And solely a small share of stolen cargo is ever recovered. Many legislation enforcement groups don’t have the manpower to dedicate to these kinds of instances over higher-profile crimes. Taking steps to make hundreds much less engaging and harder to steal, might help to scale back cargo theft.

For extra info on defending towards the specter of cargo theft, contact IAT.


Have a query on the right way to mitigate danger? E-mail [email protected] for an opportunity to see your query answered in a future weblog.

[1] Verisk “Winter Holiday Cargo Theft Trends and Security Best Practices 2022,” December 16, 2022.

[2] Enterprise Insurance coverage “Cargo losses escalate as thieves target cars, electronics,” Might 31, 2022.


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