According to FreightWatch International, the three month period from February to April this year in US witnessed 176 instances of cargo thefts with Texas topping the list. While cargo thefts have declined compared to last year but there’s no reason why you should sit back, relax and not worry about your cargo. Thieves are getting smarter and well-equipped to steal cargo when the right opportunity strikes. Most of them even take the internet’s aid in tracking your cargo. So, here are some ways to tackle this nuisance.
Check your distribution center
The best place to start preventing cargo theft is your distribution center. Check out if there’s any overloading. For instance, food companies tend to incur six-figure loses just because of overloading. It is not very uncommon for people in your organization to get involved in cargo theft. If you find one, suspend them immediately. Have an excellent inventory management system in place to leave no room for theft. Investigate shrinkage on regular basis to avoid heavy losses.
Go for surveillance devices to notice any kind of internal theft. Dome mirrors and opaque cameras significantly cut down the risk of theft. Use satellite based GPS location systems for high value cargo. With Geo-fencing, one can ensure that trailers are at places where they are supposed to be. Invest in critical sensors including door seals and monitor them continuously. Use electronic seals with GPS tracking feature to interrogate cargo from remote places.
Buy reliable locking equipment
Purchase the right locking equipment to secure your cargo from thefts. Any truck must have a concealed shackled padlock. Next, round padlocks offer effective protection against prying, sawing, drilling and hammers. Invest in security devices like cable seals, bolt seals, container locks, and tamper evident tapes & seals. Pallet bag and topp clip are equally important for securing cargo. Besides this, it is advisable to use steel tarps and similar other material to protect your cargo. Never leave the cargo open. Always remember, if a thief is not able to break into your cargo within 90 to 120 seconds, there are less chances of it being stolen. Invest in locks that cannot be broken or tampered.
Stay alert when parking
Most cargo thefts happen when your vehicle is at rest. Therefore, companies must limit the areas where drivers need to stop and have rest. Drivers must rest at places which are relatively safer than other areas. Park in areas with sufficient lighting. Some basic safety norms to follow include locking the doors and removing keys from truck. Never forget to check the cargo before proceeding.
Watch out for suspicious elements
Drivers must stay alert while driving and look out for any suspicious activities around. Thieves might follow you up to a certain extent and wait for you to get down & rest. The best thing to do in such situations is to drive over 250 miles and then take a break.
Maintaining a secure supply chain and knowing where your cargo is heading also help in its protection. Invest in real-time load tracking and ask your drivers to avoid high-risk areas. If thefts are common on weekends, try and schedule the trips on weekdays. By following these safety measures, you can easily avoid cargo thefts.