Based on the data collected by CargoNet, cargo crime is on the rise. In 2015 alone, over 880 cargo theft incidents with $175 million worth of loss were recorded. If converted, that’s about $190,000 per incident. If the FBI were to be asked, there were more cargo crimes left unreported in order to avoid higher insurance premium and bad publicity. Using the cargo theft data and trends obtained from CargoNet, we’d like to share some tips and ideas on how you can avoid fleet cargo theft.
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Tips on How to Avoid Fleet Cargo Theft
1. Be informed. Keep yourself updated not only with the latest security procedures to follow but also the modern tactics being used by the thieves so you know what to expect and avoid.
2. Inspect truck before leaving. While at the shipper’s location, make sure that your trailer is in good running condition, has a full tank, and that its doors are properly locked to avoid unscheduled stops because of a sudden engine breakdown or refueling. This will help you avoid fleet cargo theft. Also, be aware of unfamiliar vehicles that seem to be stalking your truck. They could be opportunists waiting for you to stop and open your doors so they can hijack your vehicle.
3. Use high-quality locking mechanisms. For your trailers, use tough padlocks and barriers that are ISO 17712–certified to paralyze your trucks. You can use kingpin locks to help prevent unapproved hook ups and glad hand locks so trailer brakes would not be easily overridden. Such devices can help you avoid fleet cargo theft.
4. Invest in hi-tech security systems. Consider installing modern fleet security systems such as GPS tracking system. It has several useful features including live map tracking and geo-fencing that send alerts through SMS or e-mail when your trailer is being opened or shipments are being unloaded without authorization. It’s also helpful in tracking stolen vehicle.
5. Keep routes a secret. Another way to avoid fleet cargo theft is to not broadcast your whereabouts to anyone while at work. Remember the Kardashian Paris robbery? If you post your current location online, other people might get some ideas.
6. Carefully choose where to park. If you need to stop, say to have a few minutes bathroom break or to unload some of your cargo, don’t just leave your truck anywhere and most especially with your keys still in the ignition. Don’t park in isolated areas, choose well-lit, camera-surrounded places. If possible, park with truck’s rear facing a wall of building so thieves won’t be able to easily open your trailer.
7. Have an assistant. Have someone, a coworker perhaps, to watch your truck when you’re away.
8. Maintain vehicle information. Keep a copy of the vehicle’s VINs, plate number, tracking history data from the GPS device, and a detailed picture for reference. The law enforcement will need it to help them recover your vehicle if it gets stolen.
9. File a police report immediately. In case of theft, the sooner you contact the police, the better chance you have at recovering your stolen truck.
It’s great to have an insurance policy, and it can help protect your cargo, but make sure that you have read the details and understood the insurance policy you’ve chosen so you are aware of any exemptions. Equipping your fleet cargo with GPS devices also helps the authorities locate your fleet in case the worst thing happens.