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Simple Tips for Keeping Freight Safe During the Holidays

Cargo theft is the product of opportunity and during the holidays, opportunities are everywhere. Despite improved technology and security measures, almost 75% of in-transit cargo theft occurs when trailers are left unsupervised, with less than 20% ever recovered, according to FBI statistics.
Today’s thief is smarter. They know the markets, what sells and what sells fast. Trends indicate that the nation’s hot spots remain the same year after year, only alternating depending on the efforts of law enforcement.

No matter where the road takes you this Holiday Season, consider these tips to help keep your freight safe.

Tips for shippers:
  1. Know what’s in demand. Recent data shows the top five commodities reported most for theft are food and beverage, electronics, household, vehicles and accessories, and apparel/accessories.chart-(2).png
  2. Double check your facilities and loading docks. Make sure all exterior lighting, security cameras and alarm systems are in working order.
  3. Communicate. Report any suspicious activity to law enforcement. More proactive communication often results in more routine drive-bys from authorities; activity that is particularly undesirable from would-be thieves.

Tips for carriers:
 
  1. Exercise precaution in hot spots. States like California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and New Jersey are attractive to thieves because of their access to extensive interstate exchanges and the large volume of freight arriving in their seaports. Reference the heat map below to see incident frequency across the US.heat-map-1-(2).png
  2. Make your first leg longer. Industry experts say would-be thieves target specific trucks and follow them, waiting for an opportunity to make their move. To help thwart their efforts, these experts recommend drivers do not stop within the first 200 miles, or four hours, on the road. When stopping is necessary, look for well-lit lots that are secure and limit the amount of time your truck is unattended.
  3. Utilize electronic freight security programs and technology. Consider using an all-encompassing electronic freight security (EFS) program or alarm system and anti-theft gear for added trailer and truck protection. EFS programs provide monitoring, tracking, reporting and help of recovery of shipments. Mobile alerts from alarm systems and anti-theft gear can, almost instantly, indicate if the trailer doors have been opened or your truck is in motion, allowing you to rest or grab a bite to eat without worrying. 

Whether you are shipping goods this holiday season or hauling them, TQL has you covered 24/7/365. Call us at 800-580-3101 to get started.

*All graphics sourced from CargoNet.com
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