Posted: 16 Nov, 2018 by Jonathan Robb

The holiday season is a busy time for shippers and carriers due to higher consumer demand of food/beverage, electronics and e-commerce products.  Additional opportunities paired with limited shipping and receiving hours creates a surplus of loads being parked and stored while awaiting delivery.   Make sure you’re aware of common factors that can increase your risk of being targeted.

1) Keep it moving

  •  The majority of cargo theft occurs when trailers are unattended in unsecured yards, parking lots etc.
  • Many shippers and receivers have limited holiday hours, creating more time and opportunities for your load to be unattended; know your transit times and how long your freight is parked.
  • If there is too much idle time, contact your logistics partner to see if there are better transit options available.

2) Are You at Risk?

  • Topping the list of most targeted commodities are food and beverage, electronics and apparel.
  • Retailers and  grocery stores are stocking up for the holiday rush, meaning more loads and higher risk for cargo owners.
  • Commodity isn’t the only factor to be aware of; cargo threats are more prone to occur in major metropolitan areas.
  • Southern California/LA,  New York/New Jersey and Dallas report the largest amount of occurrences.  If your freight is picking up, delivering or stopping in these areas you should take extra precaution (see map underneath content showing high theft areas around the US.)

3) What Happens if you become a victim of cargo theft?

  • The short answer is ‘you never know.’
  • The industry standard for carrier’s liability insurance is a minimum of $100,000, often times however it excludes theft by a third party and only pays out if the carrier’s negligence is found to be the cause of the theft.  Proving this will require a trip to court for litigation and could leave you in a financial hole after attorney and court fees are paid.
  • Is your freight insured by your company?  In most cases it is not. A per load ‘all risk policy’ is an inexpensive way to protect your company in the event of cargo theft.  Starting for as little as $25 and typically not exceeding $100, you can purchase a per load policy that will cover the cost of your goods if stolen.

4) B.Y.O.D.  –  Be Your Own Detective

  • Take an opportunity to review your company’s protocol when loading a truck and sending it out for delivery.  There are simple inexpensive measures that can be taken that will deter criminals from targeting your goods.
  • Take a picture of the MC# on the side of the truck to make sure it matches the MC# on your paperwork.  If it doesn’t, contact your logistics provider, vendor, or carrier immediately.
  • Make sure drivers entering your facility have signed in.
  • Take a photo copy of their driver’s license – does the signature match your sign in sheet?
  • Security cameras monitoring who is entering and leaving your facility are becoming common in warehouse settings and are a deterrent to predators.