It is reported that less than 20 percent of stolen cargo is ever recovered, making cargo theft one of the most expensive incidents drivers can face when on the road. On average it is a problem that cost anywhere between $15 to $30 billion.
Crime and theft specialist, Scott Cornell notes that in recent years cargo thieves are more likely to target mixed retail loads or less-than-truckload shipments because of their definitions of being less secure than larger truckloads.
Improving load security can be easy if you have an inside perspective on how thieves choose their targets and methods behind their madness. There are several cargo theft tactics from straight cargo theft to cyber-attack methods.
Types of Cargo Theft
Having an idea of what kind of theft is taking place and what signs associated with each is great training to know how to combat them in effective ways. Things such as high tech security, and law enforcement training has changed our society and has aided in thieves getting smarter and more creative in how they proceed with an attack. Cargo theft has been around since stagecoaches were present and without sounding like a Debbie Downer it might get worse before it gets better. This is why it’s important for truckers to stay up-to-date and extremely aware of new methods.
Straight Cargo Theft
Straight cargo theft can happen anywhere cargo can be left unattended. Truck stops, parking lots, and roadside parking areas are the most targeted. A great way to combat this tactic would be investing in high-security rear door locks.
Strategic Cargo Theft
Strategic cargo theft is constantly evolving. They are often performed with the use of unconventional methods. Identity theft, fictitious pickups, forged documents, fraudulent carriers and brokering scams all fall in line with strategic cargo theft. A solution to help in the event of scams such as these is to do your research on the appointed contact, make sure everything matches up. Always confirm positive identification at pickups and drop-offs.
Other Effective Ways To Combat Cargo Theft
When it comes to protecting your fleet it is suggested that you develop a layered approach. With a layered approach, there are step by step methods and ‘in case’ tactics put into place if security technology happens to fail. Regular procedure training should be done to ensure that the knowledge on new theft methods is made aware to participating parties. The two main factors that can change theft outcomes are aware drivers and top-notch security for either of the two methods discussed previously.
Become aware of ‘hot spots,’ during your route. By studying your route beforehand you will have a greater understanding of the areas that would be considered safe stopping points for you and the cargo.
By having the most up to date features, things such as vehicle immobilization can help in incidents where trucks are stolen along with the cargo. This feature causes the truck to become stationary and brings the heist to a halt. Most theft occurs because of thieves awareness of outdated or nonfunctional security during the transportation of goods, so having a system that is not common will put your cargo on the ‘do not attempt’ list.