December 1, 2023


Rich Inside You

Mitigating Threat within the Rising Battle In opposition to Cargo Theft

4 min read

This put up is a part of a sequence sponsored by IAT Insurance coverage Group.

Cargo theft stays a distinguished menace to the transportation trade. In a single high-profile case in 2022, three Florida males stole roughly $9 million price of beef and pork from refrigerated vans that had left meatpacking vegetation within the Midwest and Nice Plains over the course of a yr.

Within the second half of 2022, studies of cargo theft and fraud rose 27% year-over-year.[1] Parking heaps and truck stops are the most typical location for cargo theft incidents however secured yards will not be immune from cargo theft.1 Though family items and meals merchandise stay frequent targets, higher-value items, resembling autos, electronics and prescribed drugs are also steadily focused.[2]

The 4 most typical cargo theft eventualities embody:

  • Purple zones: Areas with ports and main interstate junctions proceed to be hotspots for criminals, together with California, Texas, Georgia, Florida and Illinois.1
  • Hijacking: Criminals are getting bolder, taking alternatives to steal cargo and even hijacking tools at truck stops, relaxation areas and gas islands when drivers are refueling, utilizing the services and whereas taking an hours of service (HOS) break.
  • Inside jobs: An worker with detailed information of the cargo together with the origin and vacation spot factors is aware of when and the place a high-value cargo could also be weak and have tipped off an outsider on these particulars with the intention to facilitate a theft.
  • Organized crime: Organized teams of criminals have subtle programs in place to perform cargo heists, as demonstrated within the beef and pork heists talked about above.

7 finest practices to guard your masses

As cargo theft continues to develop and evolve, firms can implement defensive measures to mitigate losses, together with the next:

  1. Use GPS monitoring for energy items and trailers. Moveable monitoring gadgets may also help find a stolen automobile or lacking trailer. Nonetheless, this isn’t an all-encompassing answer, as they are often disabled in varied methods or the sign will be blocked
  2. Implement cargo monitoring. Devoted cargo trackers will be included with load contents, providing an opportunity to trace stolen merchandise wherever they go. Shipments of high-value attire or pharmaceutical objects, for instance, might use these, that are extra dependable than their GPS cousins as a result of they use cellular phone expertise. They’re additionally extra expensive. Prices will be minimized by including trackers to a choose variety of merchandise (not all of them), as criminals sometimes steal in batches. Use sufficient trackers in merchandise that at the least one tracker will doubtless be taken in a batch of stolen product.
  3. Put skilled drivers in your higher-value masses. Use trusted drivers, those that have hauled quite a lot of masses together with excessive worth masses, and people who perceive the procedures taken to maintain their cargo, tools and most significantly, themselves away from hurt. Work as a workforce with the motive force previous to loading, reminding them of the additional procedures that needs to be taken on some of these masses.
  4. Plan your routes. Remind drivers to keep away from pink zones and excessive crime-rate areas, significantly when stopping or parking. Drivers ought to have a minimal of 200 miles price of gas and sufficient hours of service to journey that distance earlier than selecting up a load. This may also help to cut back stops and thieves might change into disenchanted with the cargo because it will get previous their goal zone.
  5. Prepare your drivers. Guarantee drivers know that vans and trailers needs to be locked and sealed, and that they need to determine protected, well-lit parking areas earlier than leaving the automobile. Extra measures embody positioning the trailer to a construction to forestall the doorways from being opened. Look ahead to autos following the truck and don’t focus on the cargo with others both — on the cellphone or over the CB radio.
  6. Make use of good hiring practices and leverage background checks. Good hiring practices ought to prolong to dispatchers, masses planners, warehouse and dock employees, not simply drivers. Be aware that warehouse employees don’t must know the routes drivers take to achieve their vacation spot, which might additional defend a load from potential theft.
  7. Buy ample cargo protection. Corporations ought to decide if they’ve the right quantity of cargo insurance coverage, particularly as the price of items rise. Work along with your insurance coverage agent to treatment gaps, and think about using a cargo rider for particular, high-value masses. Alter your protection as enterprise scales up or winds down, or your product combine adjustments.

Solely a small share of cargo thieves are caught and prosecuted. And solely a small share of stolen cargo is ever recovered. Many legislation enforcement groups would not have the manpower to dedicate to some of these instances over higher-profile crimes. Taking steps to make masses much less enticing and tougher to steal, may also help to cut back cargo theft.

For extra info on defending towards the specter of cargo theft, contact IAT.


Have a query on the right way to mitigate danger? Electronic mail [email protected] for an opportunity to see your query answered in a future weblog.

[1] Verisk “Winter Holiday Cargo Theft Trends and Security Best Practices 2022,” December 16, 2022.

[2] Enterprise Insurance coverage “Cargo losses escalate as thieves target cars, electronics,” Might 31, 2022.


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