Eight Ways To Prevent Cargo Theft

With the cost of food increasing, cargo theft can pose a serious threat to both the company and the economy. According to the FBI statistics, all forms of cargo theft could be as high as $30 billion in losses each year. Following these eight steps along...

Unannounced security audits occur when the auditor unloads the product off of the truck and confirms whether or not any extra products were added to the truck. Any extra merchandise will become apparent to the auditors and will be formally reported. By attaining the chain of custody, you will be able to find out the people that were responsible for putting the extra product onto the truck.

Finding out the people who were responsible for handling the products doesn’t necessarily mean they had the intent to steal, but rather portrays an unacceptable level of carelessness in handling the cargo. “The individuals may jeopardize their positions with the company – not for dishonesty, but for negligence,” says Brandman.

Similarly to unannounced security audits, external non-covert surveillances take place on the road, at each location where the driver delivers his goods. When the driver arrives at each stop, he is approached by a security auditor in order to verify the delivery. The auditor will be able to find any leftover cargo that remains in the truck, since the audits that occur throughout the course of the day will prevent the driver from delivering any overloaded products to his accomplices.

“Those two techniques – the internal security audits and the external non-covert surveillances – have proven year after year to be extremely successful for food companies,” says Danbee’s Brandman.

4. Forming An Alliance

By forming an alliance with other companies such as law enforcement organizations, this helps you to stay informed about the latest news and trends of cargo theft. “We partnered with Homeland Security to basically do what’s called a critical infrastructure briefing,” states Ryder’s Anderson.

Forming alliances with law enforcement organizations allows you to get valuable advice from the security experts. By forming an alliance it enhances communication and promotes safety awareness among the companies, which adds another layer of security.

Aside from internal theft problems, there are also many forms of external theft, which can be prevented with the proper care.


External Theft

5. Background Check for Fraud

In order to ensure that you’re dealing with legitimate carriers, it is crucial to make sure you conduct a background check: Portland, OR’s TransCore Freight Solutions provides that service. “We provide a network for transportation companies,” states Michele Greene, group product manager for TransCore Freight Solutions. TransCore’s network acts as a law enforcement company in order to make sure carriers are reputable and to also put a stop to fraudulent companies.

“It’s that first interaction with a new carrier where you are most at risk,” Greene says. “With modern day computing it’s not that difficult to doctor up a set of paperwork that to an untrained eye would make you look like a bona fide carrier.”

TransCore Freight Solutions provides historical information of the transportation companies that are in their system as a service to their customers. When checking to make sure your carrier is a legitimate company, you should conduct a background check on the information they provide you with such as: name, number, and address of the carrier. “The preventative aspect is as important as anything else,” says David Schrader, senior vice president of TransCore Freight Solutions. “Especially when you’re dealing with a party you have not dealt with before.”

6. Be Alert to Suspicious Activity

One common form of theft is when the drivers’ trailer truck is either broken into or stolen. “There’s organized crime and there’s opportunistic,” says Ryder’s Anderson. Organized crime usually watches the driver when he leaves the distribution center and follow him until his first rest break, says Anderson.

In order to help prevent a driver from being followed, it is recommended that he remain driving for at least 250 miles before resting. By doing so, this forces the offender to follow you for 250 miles. You should always report any suspicious activities that you see.

When a driver stops at a rest point, there are many ways to help ensure a safer stop.

7. Practice Safe Parking Habits

Parking, no matter where you are, puts your cargo at risk of theft, said Anderson.

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