Each year, cargo theft typically peaks around the holidays as more trucks are left unattended for extended periods of time. In fact, recent data shows that incidents of theft spike 50 percent this time of year. With this in mind, it’s important to stay alert and be prepared for theft during this time of year. Read on as we detail some tips to help keep your shipments protected from cargo theft.
The FBI reports that cargo theft costs U.S. businesses up to $30 billion each year. According to more detailed information collected from 20 states, the FBI found that only 31.4 percent of stolen cargo was recovered in 2016. Of those stolen shipments, food and beverage cargo is the most frequently stolen followed closely by household goods.
The data shows that high theft locations include parking lots, garages, alleys and freight docks. Fridays and Saturdays are the most common days these thefts take place. In fact, these two days of the week alone accounted for 36 percent of reported theft incidents in 2016! Here are some tips to help avoid cargo theft:
Determine Your Risk Level
It’s always a good idea to assess your cargo’s surroundings. Pay especially close attention to your cargo while it’s being loaded and unloaded, as the loading process is an opportune time for thieves to strike. From the FBI data, we also learned that thieves target places like parking lots and garages, so always be extra cautious when your cargo trailers are in these locations.
According to Fleet Owner, drivers, warehouse personnel and anyone with access to shipping information should be appropriately screened during the hiring process. It’s also recommended to remain alert when you’re on the road by keeping an eye out for suspicious vehicles or activity. Lastly, it’s important for shipping and receiving departments to have clear communication, to help minimize any threats to cargo.
There are a lot of useful technology options to help lower the risk of cargo theft. There are solutions that offer ETA tracking of the shipment down to the minute, so the receiver can stay up-to-date on the location of the cargo. There are also tracking technologies with GPS capabilities to help provide the location of trailers in the event of a theft.
Here’s to a safe and secure new year!