Tips for preventing cargo theft this winter holiday season

Incidents of cargo theft are on the rise, and the winter holiday season is no exception.

According to CargotNet, there were 118 reported cargo theft incidents from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Monday after Thanksgiving over the past five years. The average stolen shipment loss was $183,891.

CargoNet also reported high cargo theft between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2 over the last five holiday seasons. The 176 reported incidents had an average value loss of $116,030.

What’s behind this trend? Additional crowds and traffic, lack of supervision at rest stops and warehouses because of employee vacations and increased duties for law enforcement all create opportunities for cargo thieves.

Check out these proactive steps to minimize your risk this holiday season.

Cargo theft prevention tips for shippers:

  1. Cargo at rest is cargo at risk. Avoid after-hours and weekend deliveries unless you have an established receiving procedure in place.
  2. Team up with a reputable 3PL partner. Be clear about your security concerns and ask about their track record and capabilities.
  3. Use GPS tracking on all cargo so you always know your freight’s location.

Cargo theft prevention tips for carriers:

  1. Ask questions. If your paperwork has a delivery location but you’re told to go elsewhere, make sure to verify the destination with valid contact information.
  2. Communicate with your dispatcher and let them know when you must leave your truck.
  3. Never share the details of your loads with others. Thieves often pose as other carriers to gather information on cargo.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings when loading and arriving at your destination. Cargo theft most often occurs near pick-up and delivery points. 

Cargo theft prevention is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Learn more about TQL and the steps taken by our dedicated team of cargo risk experts to keep your freight safe.

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