Cargo is vulnerable to theft particularly during its transportation. The problem is persistent in many regions and has been on a rise since last few years. Every year, the companies have to bear huge losses due to cargo theft incidence even after making arrangements for Cargo safety and security. Thieves are always on a lookout to strike an in transit truck carrying valuable goods. Those cargo trucks usually get their attention when they park in nights in empty lots.
According to the recent stats by Freight Watch, the number of such instances rose to 946 in 2012 and the top theft products were metal, electronics and food. The Cargo Theft Report by Freight Watch also tells that 90% thefts occurred while cargo was left unattended and 87% of those happened while it was parked in public places or roadsides.
These statistics are of a great concern to all logistic and transport company worldwide who have to bear estimated losses of over $5 billion annually while transportation of their goods. California, Florida and Texas are the states that report the highest cargo theft cases every year in the US.
Starting from the load pick-up till the delivery, freight is at risk. Here are some tips that shippers/logistic companies must consider to ensure cargo handling safety and its safe delivery at destination:
1. Make sure not to reveal the cargo’s destination – Not to Anyone
The first and the foremost thing to do to ensure safe cargo – stay tight-lipped about your cargo’s destination. The less you discuss with people about your drop off location, safer you will be. The value of secrecy can work a long way to ward off thieves or people who are keeping an eye on the cargo goods. Especially in case of express cargo services, thieves usually depend on internal employees of transport companies for the information as they get little time to make a move.
2. Double check for locks and seals – they are super important!
High tech locks will prevent cargo theft immediately. There is plethora of options available in the market, electronic locks being the most preferred ones. Traditionally the simple padlocks come with the cargo doors yet they ensure safe cargo transportation. You can also look for a satellite controlled pin for more enhanced security system.
Mechanical seals can outwit thieves, thanks to their advanced security features. It has two variants – Barrier Seals and Indicative Seals. They all are laser engraved and ISO certified.
3. Keep your stops to the minimum and eyes open
Keep on moving and stay on guard. When you take fewer stops for breaks, the chances of theft decrease incredibly. If you can set a mileage minimum and take minimal stoppages then you reduce the chances of being followed from your pick up location till your next pit stop. Even better, if you can accompany another driver with you so that you can switch driving as opposed to frequent breaks. Safety of the cargo is of the utmost importance, anyhow.
4. Always look for safe parking – Avoid dim lit, abandoned spaces
Parking accounts for the major factor behind cargo thefts. Care must be taken prior to parking the truck. Check out for well lit parking spaces or those having surveillance cameras. Make sure the truck is securely locked and keys are not left in the vehicle. All these instructions, if followed properly will definitely ensure cargo safety and security. Companies like Trukky have tie ups with such parking areas, and also provide discounted parking rates.
5. Technology is the ultimate savior – Use tracking devices
Safe cargo tracking systems monitor the transportation of shipment till the end. It helps a great deal in avoiding an unfortunate situation. You can opt for a security company or cargo handling services that can install a small tracker in your shipment and that even helps in case the goods get separated from the truck.
Geo-fencing is another state-of-art technology that alerts you if the cargo is moved from its pre-determined route. It makes a virtual fence around the load and the tracking device will monitor the complete route till delivery. In unfortunate situations or in case of any impacts on device, all authorities including police are alerted for cargo’s recovery.
6. Avoid Red Zones – Be alert for the first 200 miles
Red Zone is the distance of first 200 miles covered by a cargo from its starting point. It is usually within first four hours of the cargo transportation that maximum thefts happen. So care should be taken while making pit stops or if possible avoid stopping at red zones completely. This is one of the primary things to do if you want to be a safe cargo carrier.
7. Be wary of your surroundings – Park tail-to-tail
When you choose to park the cargo, keep your eyes open and park wisely. When you park tail-to-tail, it blocks the entry to the cargo and thieves cannot access it. Also, face building when you park to ensure no one can pry open its door. A bit of the alertness makes cargo safe.
8. Be watchful of any suspicious activity – Stay Alert
To know the mind of a thief, you need to think like a thief. Thieves take care of tiniest details and so should you. Many times, thieves will set the tracking alarm off before they pick a move on the cargo. They do it on purpose to make the authorities believe that there is a glitch in the system and then they strike. Make sure you are watchful at all times. Make sure the Cargo handling services personnel did a good job and the cargo’s safety and security isn’t compromised.
9. Communicate with people back at your company
Communication is the bridge to safe cargo tracking. The shipment driver should stay in constant touch with the company and keep them updated about the cargo movement. Many companies keep the drivers aware about the latest theft activities along with regular message alerts for valuable tips. The can come handy and avoid unpleasant situations. GPS tracking is one such tool that can support in this clear communication.
10. Stay a step ahead of the thieves – Get training to know it all
Thieves these days are smart. They know how to deceive the system by hijacking it or how to get past the invalid identification. The staff must be trained to stay alert and communicate as soon as they suspect a threat. On demand logistic companies like trukky are investing a lot into training and betterment of drivers.