Cargo theft has become an increasing problem in nearly every industry. From consumer electronics to construction materials, almost every sector has suffered from stolen merchandise. Many experts estimate cargo theft worldwide theft accounts for $30-50 billion in losses. This raises the question, “How can companies prevent cargo theft?”
Both land and air transportation industries hold cargo in a susceptible environment as opposed to when they’re at shipping facilities. It’s different when your goods are inside a warehouse where there are security guards patrolling the area and CCTV cameras monitoring the site. When the cargo is being transported, that’s often where the theft occurs.
This affects not only the company, but the consumers as well. The former suffers from loss of goods while the latter will be forced to pay higher prices to offset the loss. To prevent this, we’ve gathered a list of tips that’ll help protect your company’s cargo.
Select a trustworthy transportation company
Because theft mostly happens during transportation, it’s crucial that you choose a reputable transportation company. Don’t be tempted for cheap pricing as this can be accompanied by shady operation. Look for reviews and feedback about the transportation company and see if they implement enhanced security features to protect your goods.
Most reputable transport companies use GPS systems that allow freight forwarders to track the whereabouts of their goods. This provides you with peace of mind knowing that you can locate your cargo at any time and find out if it’s been lost. Other tech solutions like alarm notifications notify you of any suspicious activity such as when the driver moves away from the destination.
Monitor employees and keep track of carriers
With the prevalence of cargo theft, conducting background checks has become more important than ever. Take the time to screen employees, carriers, and anyone who has access to shipping information. Inside theft is the most common cargo theft which happens due to lack of background checking. For security reasons, keep all shipping information private and screen anyone who will be handling the cargo.
Ultimately, it’s about implementing strict security measures to make sure your employees are trustworthy enough to handle your goods. Utilise all the resources possible to confirm carrier identity and make sure the information matches.
Do not preload cargo
Most companies preload their cargo to save time. But this can prove costly as it only increases the risk of theft. Between the time it is loaded and when it is picked up, this window gives thieves an opportunity to steal your goods. Your cargo should spend the least amount of time in an unattended lot if you want to safeguard it from the hands of thieves.
Enforcing specific time limits on how long the cargo can be left unattended will go a long way towards reducing the risk of cargo theft. This can also be applied during truck stops. Try to limit the need for weekly transits, especially those that include excessive dwell time to better protect your company’s goods.
Confirm the driver’s identity during pick-up
Cargo thieves are becoming more savvy by impersonating transportation company personnel during a cargo pick-up. Thankfully, it’s quite easy to prevent such scam by verifying the driver’s identification. Contact your transportation company to confirm the name of the driver picking up your goods and inspect the truck doors to make sure it’s from the transportation company.