September 26, 2023

This put up is a part of a sequence sponsored by IAT Insurance coverage Group.

Cargo theft stays a distinguished risk to the transportation trade. In a single high-profile case in 2022, three Florida males stole roughly $9 million value 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, studies 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 usually are not immune from cargo theft.1 Though family items and meals merchandise stay frequent targets, higher-value items, comparable to autos, electronics and prescription drugs are also ceaselessly focused.[2]

The 4 commonest cargo theft situations 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. Moveable monitoring gadgets might help find a stolen automobile or lacking trailer. Nevertheless, this isn’t an all-encompassing resolution, as they are often disabled in numerous 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 objects, for instance, could use these, that are extra dependable than their GPS cousins as a result of they use cellphone know-how. They’re additionally extra expensive. 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 not less than one tracker will doubtless 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 crew with the motive force previous to loading, reminding them of the additional procedures that must be taken on a lot of these hundreds.
  4. Plan your routes. Remind drivers to keep away from pink zones and excessive crime-rate areas, significantly when stopping or parking. Drivers ought to have a minimal of 200 miles value of gasoline and sufficient hours of service to journey that distance earlier than selecting up a load. This might help to scale back stops and thieves could grow to be disenchanted with the cargo because it will get previous their goal zone.
  5. Practice your drivers. Guarantee drivers know that vehicles and trailers must be locked and sealed, and that they need to determine protected, well-lit parking areas earlier than leaving the automobile. Extra measures embody positioning the trailer to a construction to forestall the doorways from being opened. Look ahead to autos following the truck and don’t focus on the cargo with others both — on the telephone 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 staff, not simply drivers. Be aware that warehouse staff don’t must know the routes drivers take to succeed in their vacation spot, which may additional defend a load from potential theft.
  7. Buy satisfactory cargo protection. Corporations ought to decide if they’ve the correct 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. Regulate 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 do not need the manpower to dedicate to a lot of these circumstances 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 find out how 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,” Could 31, 2022.


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