You may be familiar with the adage that says, “Freight at Rest is Freight at Risk.” Indeed it is. The FBI estimates cargo theft costs companies $30 billion yearly. At one time, warehouses were the prime targets, but today many thieves target trucks—even when they’re parked in secure carrier lots. For professional cargo thieves, it’s a matter of risk and reward. With high prices and easy resale of freight such as electronics, metals, and apparel, cargo theft offers a premium return with relatively low risk.
Here are ten ways fleet owners and operators can help protect their cargo:
- Perform careful and frequent background checks of employees. Many companies do an initial screening, but then fail to conduct checks on an ongoing basis.
- Thoroughly screen all partners and intermediaries. As with employees, do so initially and on an ongoing basis.
- Drivers should plan their routes and drive their plan, taking care to avoid isolated or risky routes or locations.
- When possible, avoid deliveries on Fridays and Saturdays, during which the incidence of theft often doubles.
- Leverage new technology that allows for vehicle immobilization, vehicle tracking, and theft recovery.
- Hide tracking devices in the merchandise and/or in the freight cartons.
- Conduct independent security audits to ensure your practices are adequate and up-to-date.
- Create a theft reporting plan to ensure accurate and timely reporting of cargo theft.
- Take extra precautions when transporting high-theft cargo items, such as electronics and metals.
- Make sure you employees know that no load is worth a human life. If they see a theft in progress, do not approach or try to apprehend the perpetrators. Call the police immediately, then their company representatives.
When it comes to fleet safety best practices and driver training solutions, contact the safety experts at DriverCheck, originators of the How’s My Driving industry and safety specialists since 1986.