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...


Companies should limit where drivers are permitted to stop for breaks, since there are some locations that are more of a high risk for cargo theft than others. The companies should be aware of safer rest stops in order to assure the safety of the driver and the cargo.

Some ideal elements to look for when choosing a safer truck stop would be to be aware of places with good lighting and parking in close proximity. By parking close a driver is able to spot any suspicious activities that may occur while he’s away and report what he sees in a timely manner.

Remembering to lock the doors and remove the keys from the vehicle are good basic safety habits. Also when returning to your trailer, survey the vehicle and look for any signs of tampering. Using the right kind of equipment will delay a theft in progress.

8. Utilizing the Right Equipment

With so many different types of equipment on the market, it may be confusing when it comes to choosing the best gear for your trailer. A very basic must-have safety feature for your truck would be a round lock with a hidden shackled padlock. The sheltered shackle makes it virtually impossible to defeat the lock, consequently making it harder for cargo to be stolen. The round padlocks are industrial strength locks that, according to American Lock, can protect against: drilling, sawing, prying, crowbars, dent pullers and hammers.

Another beneficial basic security device created by Master Lock is called The Bump Stop. “We’ve seen over the years that there has been a threat of people bumping locks and we have a reverse taper pin that we utilize in the padlock that deters entries like that,” says John Ficcadenti, senior product manager of security products at Master Lock, Milwaukee. “Bumping is basically another form of picking a lock.”

Trailers are at a high risk when they are not attached to a truck. One way to prevent possible theft of the entire trailer is with the King Pin lock by attaching it to the stem of the trailer in order to prevent another truck from pulling away with the complete trailer.

Other forms of equipment are electronic technologies that can be used on the trailer. “The most common is vehicle-based GPS, which allows logistic companies to track vehicles and keep an eye on shipments,” states Ryder’s Anderson. Although vehicle-based GPS’s can track the location of the trailer, it has some disadvantages as well. “Many of the organized groups that commit these thefts are able to defeat the GPS system within seconds of absconding with the truck,” says Danbee’s Brandman. “They’ve been effective when it comes to amateur theft, but the professionals have no problem circumventing the technology out there.”

“One of the more recent developments is cargo-based GPS, which is a small device about the size of a cell phone that you can place inside the cargo,” says Anderson. Cargo-based GPSs uses duel receivers, which utilizes both cellular technology and GPS satellites. Like with other technologies, cargo-based GPSs do have drawbacks. They can be easily defeated with the use of cell phone jammers, which is used so the GPS is unable to receive a signal causing it to be disabled.

“If you create a layered security approach, it increases the amount of time it takes to steal that cargo. Detect, deter and delay are the three mantras to security,” concludes Anderson. d

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