Industry experts agree that cargo theft costs freight companies upwards of $30 billion in cargo annually. The financial loss is immediate, but the reputational cost can have lasting effects on future business. Implementing a comprehensive program to combat this crime is beneficial and worth the effort.

HUB International advises transportation clients to put these insights into practice to address cargo theft head on.

Contractor/Driver Due Diligence

Fleet owners should conduct strenuous due-diligence when sourcing transportation vendors and perform thorough background investigations on all parties involved with the shipping process.

On-Site Security Measures

Products stored in warehouses have the largest value incidents. Warehouse facilities should have appropriate surveillance security to deter criminals from breaking in. A well-trained staff can also act as security by following and alerting others of suspicious lurkers.

Security-Awareness Training

Drivers are the first line of defense when it comes to deterring crime, with security measures only being effective if employees and drivers are trained and engaged. The more aware and trained your staff, the better your chance of deterring criminal behavior.

Know and Understand Current Theft Trends

Criminals constantly adjust their methods to accomplish their goals. Shippers and carriers need to adjust, first by being aware of high-threat areas and secondly by implementing new security protocols.

Limit Cargo-at-Rest

Ensuring that your cargo delivery time is within the receiver’s hours of operation limits the time the cargo is at rest, a prime time for theft. Reducing the time the load is at rest or unattended is key. Implement procedures and communication checkpoints to keep your freight protected and on the move.

Change Your Route Frequently

The most efficient cargo thieves spend time planning, surveying and detailing their plan of attack. Change your driving route frequently and spontaneously. An in-transit security policy will help identify a specified logistics footprint for your drivers.

Leverage High-and Low-Tech Security

Adding load tracking devices, geofencing and electronic seals allow you to track shipments and receive alerts if anything is not on course. These systems, however, are only as good as the people who manage the communications and are trained to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior. A combination of technology, training and common sense make a good recipe for cargo delivery success.