Holiday Spike in Cargo Thefts

Industry experts report that companies usually experience a major increase in cargo thefts – of up to 40% – during the holiday season. Typically, food and beverage items are the most commonly stolen cargo, but not necessarily so during the holiday season. Building materials, industrial products, electronics, designer clothing and shoes are some of the other products typically targeted during the holidays.  Therefore, with trailer thefts and burglaries increasing during the holiday season, we recommend retailers send a reminder message to their logistics field management teams to take extra precautions to secure assets, buildings and trucks/trailers.

Here are some security tips and best practices from CargoNet you may wish to include in your safety reminder message.

Supply Chain Fraud Security Tips:

. Cargo thieves enjoy the holidays because shipping volume of desirable goods increases, as does demand. Freight brokers should be extra diligent during the holiday season as fictitious pickups increase.

. End-of-day transactions should have strict vetting processes; a second look by a supervisor prior to tendering a load to a carrier may prevent a theft.

. A trucker that is willing to take an undesirable load for a lower rate than the industry standard may be setting you up for a theft.

. Fuel advance, hostage load, and line haul scams also increase a few days before a holiday. Prior to issuing the fuel advance, call the shipper to confirm that the load was picked up. Do not accept incoming calls from a shipper trying to tell you the driver is there – it could be the scammers spooling the phone number of the shipper.

In-Transit Cargo Security Tips:

. Make sure that both security managers and drivers have accurate license plate, VIN and descriptive information for tractors, trailers, containers, and container chassis. Police agencies will need this information to open an investigation in the even of an incident. Drivers should keep this information on them so they can quickly reference it if their truck is stolen.

. Secure all trailers (loaded and unloaded) with high security ISO 17712 complaint barrier seals in combination with hardened padlocks. Use king pin locks for unattended vehicles.

. Secure all tractors with high-security locking devices, such as air-cuff and steering column locks.

. Remind drivers to arrive at point of pickup well-rested, showered, fed and with a full tank of gas.

. Avoid having loaded trailers sit unattended when employees are not present.

Warehouse / Distribution Center Security Tips:

. Check to make sure the entire facility is in good working order. This should include lighting, backup generators, alarm systems, surveillance equipment, perimeter fencing, and any other type of barrier.

. Remove keys from all facility equipment and place them in a secure location, especially motorized pallet jackets and forklifts.

. Never treat any alarm signal as a false alarm. When targeting warehouse locations, cargo thieves tend to trip facility alarm systems multiple times before a break-in to give law enforcement and facility managers the impression that the alarm system is broken.

. Encourage documentation and reporting of all suspicious activity that occurs in and around a facility to security personnel. This information can be critical to law enforcement in the event of a cargo theft incident.

. Ask local police agencies to make routine checks of facilities during holiday downtime.


Making sure these and other security measures are in place will help ensure a successful and safe holiday season.  $


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