THERE WAS AN AVERAGE OF 78.8 CARGO THEFT INCIDENTS PER MONTH IN THE UNITED STATES IN 2012, according to Freight Watch International. Nearly 81 percent were full-truckload or container thefts. That’s a lot of cargo – and no one is immune.
To protect your own loads, Canal offers these suggestions:
FOR TRUCKING COMPANIES:
Consider installing GPS or Qualcomm in your fleet. This may allow tracking of stolen trucks and will also provide confirmation of actual truck location compared to driver reports.
Complete more in-depth background checks on potential drivers prior to releasing loads to them.
Don’t “advertise” what you are hauling, not even to other truckers at a truck stop. Cargo thieves often pose as drivers and hang around truck stops to discover what loads might be of interest to them.
Avoid distraction by others when stopped as it could be a scheme to lure you away from your truck, leaving your cargo vulnerable.
Never pick up hitch hikers, especially at truck stops, as this too could be a scheme to separate you from your truck.
Keep the tractor and trailer locked at all times. Consider adding your own lock to increase protection beyond shipper-provided seals, as these are often nothing more than plastic or tin ties that are very easily cut.
Do not leave your keys in the tractor. Carry them with you, along with your cell phone, at all times.
Don’t leave your truck idling unsupervised in a parking lot. It makes both your truck and the load more tempting and certainly easier to steal.
Be vigilant and investigate areas where you plan to stop for any period of time. Stay at familiar lots whenever feasible. If possible, back the trailer up against a wall or another tractor trailer to prevent or limit access to the trailer doors.
Be proactive and use the police non-emergency number if you notice anything suspicious at a truck stop or other area.
Despite every precaution, if you do find yourself the victim of cargo theft, be sure to contact Canal immediately so we can facilitate the claim process and find a speedy resolution to your issue. Of course, prevention is always the first line of defense, and none of the above suggestions require a dramatic change in daily habit. As is often the case, a few simple steps may be all you need to create an effective deterrent. The load you save may be your own.