Cargo theft is increasing. FreightWatch, one of the leading logistics security companies in the U.S.A., reported an 8% increase in the first quarter of 2016 over the last quarter of 2015. Whether you are a freight broker or motor carrier, take precautions now to prevent cargo theft. Prevention is essentially about awareness, so here are 5 ways your awareness can prevent cargo theft:
1. Be aware of your surroundings
Any kind of deserted or dark area is exactly where cargo thieves look to execute their next heist. Parking in well lit, populated areas is important. Better still, park where security cameras are clearly visible, which is a great deterrent for cargo thieves.
Also think of how you park. Whether you are carrying air conditioners or apparel, flat screen TVs or farm equipment, try to make opening the truck nearly impossible. Back your truck against a wall or another vehicle. Ensure that the vehicle is locked and use the most sophisticated lock you can find. Consider the new satellite linked locks that make robberymore difficult for cargo thieves.
2. Be aware of predictable routines and suspicious activity
One of the golden rules of preventing cargo theft is to avoid any sort of obvious repetition. If you have a regular route each week or are home on a predictable schedule, park in different places and for different lengths of time. Cargo thieves watch for regular periods that you may be absent from the vehicle. On the road or parked, watch for any sort of suspicious activity.
3. Be aware of being monitored
We live in an age of mass communication. Whether talking on the radio, chatting with fellow truckers at the truck stop, or texting on social media via your mobile phone, be aware of being monitored. Remember that cargo thieves are, for the most part, linked to syndicates with sophisticated listening devices and methods of ascertaining what you’re carrying and to where. Watch to see if you’re being followed.
4. Be aware of knowing where you’re going
As any good logistics professional will tell you, do your research and know as much as possible about where you are going. Find out if and where there are notorious cargo theft “hot-spots” on your route. These are usually well known to security companies and other motor carriers and freight brokers, so ask around. Know the safest routes, parking areas and truck stops along the way.
5. Be aware of who you are working for
Simply put, try to avoid getting into bed with the enemy! Do your research on your potential customers. A safe route is to visit FreeFreightSearch.com, a free freight search site where you can not only pick up loads on one of the top free load boards, but you can also get free credit reports on thousands of freight brokers. Work with reliable shippers and brokers and you’ll avoid getting stuck with unpaid freight bills, a bad variation on theft in the trucking industry!