8 Tips to Avoid Cargo Theft this Holiday Season
The holiday season tends to bring good cheer, but for the transportation industry, cargo theft is an unfortunate by-product of the holly jolly hustle and bustle. Rushing expedited shipments and ever-tightening delivery schedules are usually at the root of this disheartening issue. Employees often take extra vacation days around Christmas and New Year’s Day to spend time with family and friends, which can leave freight unattended or stored in places for prolonged periods of time, providing a greater opportunity for cargo theft.
A 2019 CargoNet trends report calculated the grand theft over the last five years, from Thanksgiving holidays alone, which is 6 days from the Tuesday before until the Monday after Thanksgiving. The grand total of loss the industry experienced was $5,541,394 from freight theft!
The most commonly hit states, in order of frequency, are California, Texas, and Florida, with favored locations being either warehouses or distribution centers.
Most people would probably assume that electronics, pharmaceuticals, and maybe even cigarettes, would be highly targeted by cargo theft. However, the most commonly sought commodity for cargo theft during the holidays are actually food and beverage.
Christmas and New Year’s Day are right around the corner, so now is the time to make sure all employees are on guard and exercising situational awareness surrounding their freight.
Consistently practicing a few simple preventative measures can help decrease of even negate some of these annual losses altogether.
Below are some preemptive security tips to keep your freight safe this holiday season:
- 1. Use a 3PL that provides total visibility with GPS carrier tracking, such as C.L. Services
- 2. Train your staff to be alert to the possibility of thieves posing as carriers calling for fictitious pickups
- 3. Be suspicious of unusually cheap freight, as it may be a setup or fraud
- 4. Have an internal procedure in place, designed to verify calls for legitimate fuel advances versus scams
- 5. As obvious as this one may seem – never leave loaded trailers unattended in unsecured areas
- 6. Monitor barrier seals and padlocks on trailers at every stop, and again before departure
- 7. Ask law enforcement to make periodic and random checks of facilities you frequent during the holiday season
- 8. Document and report any suspicious activity you witness in or around any delivery or pick up locations. It may even be worth a small investment in security cameras in any high traffic areas, or places where freight can be stored for long periods of time
Now you can enjoy your vacation time and relax this holiday season, knowing you’ve done your part in keeping your company’s freight safe and on track for the holidays. All of us at C.L. Services wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!
Director of Marketing & Media, C.L. Services