Cargo theft is a persistent – and increasing - problem for the transportation industry. Last year in Canada alone, $35 million in cargo theft losses were reported compared to the $2.1 million losses reported five years prior. Even one stolen trailer can cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is why it’s important to have a security plan in place – particularly at this time of the year.
For our top tips on how to reduce your risk of cargo theft, keep reading!
To reduce the risk of cargo theft, it is important to make sure employees have received proper security training so they can identify potential risks. While on the road, drivers should always be aware of their surroundings and know what cargo theft “hotspots” look like so they can avoid them when possible. According to a 2020 cargo theft report, thieves in the United States and Canada most frequently steal unattended cargo trucks parked at unsecured locations, including truck stops and gas stations. When in these areas, drivers should avoid leaving trucks unattended for long periods and be on high alert for suspicious behaviour. In any situation where a truck comes to rest, even for short periods, drivers should ensure the trailer is as secure as possible. As a best practice, it’s a good idea to park in secure locations that are well-lit and have either personal security or security cameras.
Maintaining consistent communication between drivers and dispatch is another important theft-preventing tactic, especially when drivers are in high-risk areas. Drivers should have their phones or radios on hand and regularly update dispatch on their location, any stopping points, and whether or not the cargo is being unattended. With this information, dispatch and the police can react quickly if something is stolen and will have a greater chance of recovering the items.
In the situation where cargo must be left unattended, drivers should make sure the trailer is secure. One way of doing this is with theft-resistant locks, such as kingpin locks, air cuff locks, wheel locks and hitch locks. If possible, it’s also a good idea to park your trailer in a way that blocks the doors from being opened, i.e. with the trailer door facing a wall. By securing unattended cargo, potential thieves will have a much harder time hijacking the vehicle.
One of the most effective ways to protect a fleet from cargo theft is by investing in high-tech security devices such as GPS fleet tracking technology. By deploying GPS tracking technology, transportation companies can monitor their vehicles and assets in real-time from any device. CloudHawk’s fleet tracking solution utilizes IoT cargo sensors that can be installed inside trailers to monitor cargo position, volume, and linear footage. The data from these sensors enables companies to keep tabs on both the location of the trailer and the status of the cargo inside. Door sensors can also be installed on trailer doors that notify companies wherever the door has been opened and enable management to monitor the duration that it stayed open. If a theft does occur and the trailer itself is stolen, the real-time location data can be used to locate its exact whereabouts. By using GPS fleet tracking technology, transportation companies are more likely to track down and recover stolen cargo.