Cargo theft is a crime that is currently making an impact on our country’s economy. According to the FBI, more than 32.5 million dollars’ worth of cargo was stolen in the United States in 2014, and that figure only includes data from the 29 states that actively track and report cargo theft.
When a load of cargo is stolen, it affects the company that lost merchandise, the consumers who have to pay higher prices to offset the loss, and the local and state governments that do not receive sales tax on the stolen goods.
If your company regularly ships large amounts of cargo to customers, it is essential to have a plan to help prevent cargo theft. Being prepared and aware of the problem can go a long way in protecting your merchandise and avoiding the headaches associated with cargo theft.
Use the following tips to help reduce the risk of your company’s cargo being stolen:
Choose a Trusted Transportation Company
When choosing a transportation company to ship your cargo, it is important to consider more than just price. While you should always keep your budget in mind, you also need to look for a reputable and trusted transportation company that has years of experience.
Working with a reputable transportation company will help ensure that your company’s cargo is in the hands of a company that has the highest security measures and knows how to get your cargo from one point to another without any breaches or losses.
Train Staff on Cargo Theft Policies
In light of how prevalent cargo theft has become, it is essential for every company to have a specific policy to reduce risk. In addition to having a policy, every employee that is involved in preparing cargo to be picked up for transport needs to understand the policy and be trained to follow all procedures associated with the policy.
When everyone is aware of cargo theft and takes measures to prevent it, the more likely your cargo is to be safe.
It is not uncommon for companies to pre-load their cargo as a time-saving measure. But doing so can actually be putting your cargo at risk between the time when it is packed and loaded and when it is actually picked up.
In the interest of protecting your cargo and preventing products from being stolen from a pre-loaded trailer or shipping container, cargo should spend very minimal time in an unattended lot. Your company should have specific time limits pertaining to how long cargo can be unattended—the shorter the amount of time, the better.
Verify the Driver and Truck at Pick-Up
Cargo thieves are becoming more sophisticated, and a common scam is for thieves to impersonate transportation company personnel when picking up a load of cargo. Luckily, it is easy to prevent a fictitious pick-up by doing several things.
Don’t be afraid to contract your transportation company to verify the name of the driver picking up your cargo. You should also check the truck doors to ensure that the transportation company name is listed, as well as the required FMCSA/USDOT numbers.
Concentrate Security Efforts
In order to protect your cargo, you need to be aware of when theft is most likely to happen so you can secure your facility properly. In many cases, cargo theft occurs on the weekend when many companies leave cargo trailers unattended. In addition to limiting the amount of time cargo is unattended, you may want to consider hiring additional security to work weekend shifts.
If you are in need of shipping or transportation, contact Ripley Transportation Company. We are committed to excellence and employ the highest security measures to keep our clients’ cargo safe.