Protecting freight is one of the responsibilities you have to your clients. Failure to exercise reasonable care in preventing accidents or incidents could result in you having to pay for the damages. In 2018, motor carriers reported almost 600 incidents of cargo theft nationwide. The average value of stolen goods per incident was $142,342. Cargo thieves can take advantage of opportunities for crime, such as low security at a cargo hold, to steal thousands of dollars worth of cargo. Thieves stealing cargo can cause disaster along the supply chain. Use these tips to protect your cargo against criminals and avoid costly mishaps.
Avoid High-Crime Areas
Do your research when selecting transportation routes. Avoid high-crime areas to maximize the safety of your drivers, trucks, and cargo. Smart transportation management software can help you determine routes through safer neighborhoods, based on crime heat maps and collected data. Avoiding areas with high rates of theft and other crimes may take your truckers longer to reach their destinations, but it can save money in the long run by preventing expensive cargo theft. A few areas with high rates of cargo theft are Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York, Miami, Houston, and Chicago.
Don’t Let Trucks Sit for Too Long
Trucks can be sitting ducks in certain high-crime areas. Don’t let precious cargo idle too long in one place to help prevent incidents of theft. The faster your truckers can get in and out of a location, the better. When drivers do need to stop for a long period of time, arrange rest breaks at safe truck stop locations with adequate security measures. Train your drivers to park their trucks tail-to-tail, or with the tail against a wall, to prevent thieves from breaking into the rear trailer doors.
Utilize Low-Tech Security
The security industry has modernized, but there’s no reason not to employ low-tech security systems as well. Low-tech security measures such as locks and seals on cargo trailers are a relatively inexpensive way to help deter criminals. Simple measures can stop amateur or “opportunist” thieves from exploiting weaknesses in your security measures. Low-tech security, however, may not keep your loads safe from higher levels of organized crime.
Make Smart Use of Transportation Technology
Running a fleet of trucks takes smart use of security technologies to keep drivers, trucks, trailers, and cargo safe from mishaps and crimes. Use layered security measures such as locks, alarms, camera systems, and GPS trackers to optimize the safety of your loads. Stay in communication with your drivers and law enforcement in the event of an issue. The right security technologies and fleet management software solutions can help you keep tabs on your trucks and protect valuable cargo from even the most determined criminals.
Use Tracking Devices
If you can’t prevent cargo theft, the least you can do is track the stolen truck or cargo to alert law enforcement. Use tracking device technologies to keep tabs on your trucks and trailers. GPS trackers can collect and send real-time telematics information to the police, so they can track down the position of the vehicle and hopefully detain the perpetrators. Concealed tracking devices can notify you when a truck or trailer travels out of a designated area, in a process called geofencing.
Editor’s note: This blog was originally written for the GTG Technology Group, How to Protect Your Freight From Cargo Thieves.