Four Tips for Cargo Theft Prevention

Although Memorial Day can mean a three-day weekend for most, it’s also the perfect time for thieves to steal cargo. Memorial Day weekend is one of the most popular times for cargo theft with 98 cargo thefts reported in the past 4 years, according to CargoNet. In contrast to non-holiday weekends, Memorial Day weekend has seen a 40% higher rate in theft. The ideal solution would be to avoid leaving cargo unattended over the long holiday weekend. When that is not an option, Scott Cornell, transportation lead and crime and theft specialist of Travelers Inland Marine, recommends these tips for a layered approach to protecting shipments.

1. Educating drivers and staff is a critical first step. Make sure they are aware of the threats related to cargo theft and understand the old adage, “Cargo at rest is cargo at risk.” A heightened awareness can promote better participation from your drivers and staff.

2. Whenever possible, stage loads at secure company yards. According to Sensitech, 71% of reported cargo thefts occur in unsecured parking areas. This number tends to increase over long holiday weekends.

3. Use all available equipment to secure trailers while they are being staged, including a combination of landing gear or King Pin locks and rear door locks, as well as air cuff locks if the trailer is married to the tractor. Ideally, the tractor and trailer should remain locked and connected as long as they are left unattended, as this allows for an additional layer of security.

4. Consider installing covert tracking systems on all shipments and carefully monitor the location of loads left staged over the weekend. Most tracking devices will allow you to geofence the shipment and alert you if it begins to move. Some devices also offer open-door alerts and other types of notifications that can make you quickly aware of any issues or intrusion on your trailer.