20 Tips How To Protect Your Trucking Business From Cargo Theft

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The trucking industry is known to be the backbone of the U.S. economy, therefore as such, it requires responsive and efficient road freight system and dedicated truck drivers.

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Thereupon, in the last few years, it has been noticed increased cargo theft. This has alarmed trucking companies, especially the truck drivers. So, since the cargo theft has increased, straight proportionally to that we can notice that the people in this industry have put their focus on implementing new cargo safety techniques.

Hence, many trucking companies have implemented a risk management approach. With so much on the line, trucking companies have also started educating truck drivers, that is to say, they are organizing additional training. All that just for one purpose- cargo theft prevention.

Furthermore, in this article, you will have the chance to read 20 Tips How To Prevent Your Trucking Business From Cargo Theft.

Let’s take a look!

Tip No.1: Establishing a Security Culture In Your Trucking Company

When every trucking company is hiring new truck drivers, they focus their attention on the skills, as well as on the education that the candidate has. Thereupon, a person cannot fit for the position of a truck driver if he hasn’t obtained a Class A CDL drivers license yet. In the same manner, later-on trucking companies are providing additional training for their new hires.

Source: www.kishwaukeecollege.edu
Source: www.kishwaukeecollege.edu

Moreover, providing additional security training for their new truck drivers is essential. The main purpose of this training is to increase the awareness of truck drivers, as well as to educate them how to prevent cargo theft.

Nowadays the majority of trucking companies have issued their own policies that help in cargo theft prevention. What trucking companies should also do is to set procedures that can help their truck drivers in the case of cargo theft. That is to say, to provide their employees with the best solution in that particular unwanted situation.

Tip No.2: Taking Advantage Of Technology

We are living in an era of advanced technology, therefore this technology that is in our disponibility can help us a lot. Yet, the advanced technology can help a lot in the trucking businesses too.

Hence, by taking advantage of the latest technology, trucking companies can prevent cargo theft. Thanks to the GPS tracking devices that almost every trucking company has nowadays, stolen vehicle’s location is no longer a problem. These devices are also providing geo-facing solutions.

Therefore, these solutions are sending security alarm to the trucking companies if the truck is out of its route.

Source: www.pinterest.com
Source: www.pinterest.com

This advanced technology can help your fleet run smoothly. In fact, the GPS tracking devices these days are less expensive than in the past.

Not to forget, these devices are providing numerous benefits. Among all those benefits the most important is the alertness that it provides to its users.

Tip No.3: When Determining Shipment Routing – Factor In Security

Having a previously determined shipment routing can play an important role in the prevention of cargo theft.

Thereupon, we are all familiar with the fact that cargo thieves are mainly following the trucks straight after their departure. So, thieves are waiting for the perfect moment when they can pounce the loads.

In this Tip No.3 For Preventing Cargo Theft, I would like to reveal you part of the following tip which plays important role in the shipment routing as well. That part is the red zone or that is to say the hot spots.

Source: www.cerasis.com
Source: www.cerasis.com

Henceforth, all previously determined shipping routes have one thing in common. That one thing is skipping the red zones. Therefore, the location of red zones is in fact in the first 200 miles, or more precisely the first 4 hours from the departure point.

In general, the determined shipping routes that trucking companies are giving to their truck drivers are indicating the best and the safest stop locations.

Tip No.4: Focus On The Hot Spots

As the trucking industry kept growing and kept making a lot of money through load transportation, it has straight proportionally brought increased cargo theft.

Thereupon, cargo theft is present all across the USA, yet its high concentration can be seen in six states. So, the people in the trucking industry, especially the truck drivers should be focused on the hot spots. But, what are hot spots, and where are these spots mainly located?

Source: www.truckdriverjobsinamerica.com
Source: www.truckdriverjobsinamerica.com

To clarify this Tip No.4 For Preventing Cargo Theft which is focused on the hot spots I would like to put the focus on certain cities, neighborhoods, as well as truck stops altogether with the parking areas.

In addition, it is more frequent that cargo theft occurs in these places because the security is not on a high level. So, in order for truck drivers to prevent cargo thefts they shall pay enormous attention where they are stopping and where are they leaving their loaded trucks.

One more thing that I would like to add up as a summary to this tip is that cargo theft happens especially during the weekends and the holidays.

Tip No.5: Keep The Cargo Moving

If you are a truck driver, and you want to prevent cargo theft, then you should keep the cargo moving. Why is that so? Well, it is logical, the longer that a truck sits on a specific unattended area, it is more likely cargo theft will happen.

Hence, as a truck driver who is dedicated to the trucking industry, you should never let your truck or a loaded trailer unattended.

Source: www.youtube.com
Source: www.youtube.com

All that you should do is to staple yourself to an order. A dedicated and experienced truck driver would instantly understand why keeping the cargo moving is one of the best preventative measures that you can take in order not to face cargo theft.

Tip No.6: Use Preventative Analytics

Using preventative analytics shall be on top of your preventing cargo theft solutions. In fact, if you take a glimpse at the history of theft data, then you can have a way clearer picture about the most dangerous routes and stops for truck drivers.

It has been proven that by using preventative analytics trucking companies have succeeded in reducing cargo thefts on a year basis. That is mainly because cargo thieves somehow chose particular territories.

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The preventative analytics help in the process of planning the best routes for their truck drivers. Doing a detailed research about cargo thefts in the area where the load transportation shall take place can help a lot.

Nowadays, there are special organizations that are analyzing cargo theft incidents. These organizations are of a great help for trucking companies.

Tip No.7: Practice Team Driving

Team driving brings numerous advantages, of which is the prevention of cargo theft. When you are driving with a mate, then you know that if it happens that you lose your focus, there is always someone that can change you, and sit behind the steering wheel.

Source: www.truckdrivingjobs.com
Source: www.truckdrivingjobs.com

If you have a team driver whom you trust a lot, then you will have someone to lean on at any time of the day. All that you will have to do is to be ready to compromise and to remain open minded.

Team driving can be challenging, but at the end, it pays off. You will end up with a higher salary, as well you will have increased safety.

Tip No.8: Truck Drivers Should Never Go Home With Loaded Truck Or Leave The Truck In Unsecured Areas

Truck drivers should never go home with a loaded truck, or to leave the truck in unsecured areas, because they can attract cargo thieves.

Actually, almost all trucking companies have strict rules and regulations. These rules and regulations do not allow truck drivers to take a loaded truck home. And, why is that so? The answer could not be simpler, because of cargo safety. These rules, on the other hand, attract loyal customers.

Source: www.mollerupmoving.com
Source: www.mollerupmoving.com

So, the next time when it crosses your mind to bring the loads that you are supposed to deliver at home, or if you are planning to leave the truck in an unsecured area, think of this tip.

Tip No.9: Don’t Forget To Lo-Tech Security

It is in common that when we think of cargo theft prevention to straight away think about using high tech security. But, actually, you shall not forget to use Lo-Tech security. Never underestimate this security.

Just by applying few locks on the vehicle and on the trailer you will increase the security of the loads that you are transporting. What I would like to suggest you is:

  • King Pin Locks;
  • Air Brake Valve Locks;
  • Glad Hand Locks;
  • Seals;
Source: www.kenfairclough.blogspot.com
Source: www.kenfairclough.blogspot.com

Simple measures like these might not provide the ultimate load security, but still, it is a good safety measure. For example, the king pins can contribute in keeping the tractor and trailer safe from separating.

Tip No.10: Always Park Trucks Tail To Tail

Thereupon, one of the best preventative measures that truck drivers can use is to always park their trucks tail to tail. Although at first, this might seem to you as a simple precaution, have in mind that it is a good preventative cargo theft measure.

Most of the trucking companies in the USA are providing additional training’s that include classes about cargo theft prevention. In that direction, the trainees shall provide advice as well as strict directions for the parking process when loaded.

So, it is recommendable for truck drivers to practice the habit of parking the trucks tail to tail.

Source: www.logisticsbureau.com
Source: www.logisticsbureau.com

This protects the rear trailer doors from being broken into—something which can otherwise easily happen even while a driver sleeps in his cab. If you have a lot of trucks parked in your storage facility with goods on board, the tail-to-tail parking method can also help to keep vehicles secure in your yard.

Tip No.11: Maintain Operational Awareness All The Time

It is widely known that one of the hardest but still the most important part of being a truck driver is maintaining operational awareness all the time. Truck drivers by maintaining operational awareness all the time are contributing in a great measure to cargo theft prevention.

If you talk to any truck driver about maintaining operational awareness, you will get similar statements from most of them. When a truck driver is driving for more than 6 consecutive hours it is natural that he looses focus. Not only that truck drivers are losing focus in these situations but also they are getting sleepy.

Source: www.truckerstraining.com
Source: www.truckerstraining.com

Why is tip No.11 so important? It is important not only for the safety of the truck driver, the cargo, altogether with the safety of all people that are engaged in the traffic, but maintaining operational awareness is important for preventing cargo theft as well.

Cargo theft has become more prevalent in the last decade. Moreover, if a truck driver is aware all the time he will have the chance to notice if someone is following him/her.

Tip No.12: Use A Padlock On Trailer Doors

Nonetheless, the people who say that padlocks can’t be used as a preventative measure, are really wrong.

If we sum up the facts and figures, we can see that the padlocks can be placed on every type of trailer door. Even the roll-up and swing trailer doors do have built-in holes for placing a padlock. However, a padlock might not be the ultimate safety provider, still, it helps as a preventative measure.

Source: www.immobilize.com
Source: www.immobilize.com

We can also define the padlock as a low-tech, but at the end of the day, it works. These portable locks can meet the needs of every requirement that your fleet might have.

Tip No.13: Check If You Are Being Followed

Truck drivers are leading a unique lifestyle that requires from them to be on the road for a long time (to drive long routes). These long routes that truck drivers are driving are sometimes causing them distractions, which can cost them a lot.

Still, each truck driver should drive on the road with increased awareness. The increased awareness can help them, not only about driving on the lane and taking care about the other vehicles on the road, but also a truck driver who is aware all the time can see clearly if he is being followed or not.

Henceforth, if a truck driver sees that someone is following him, he should then slow down, and change lanes. Moreover, if slowing down and changing lanes doesn’t work for you, then you should get in touch with your fleet for help. Finding a safe and secure location to park, is a good option as well.

Tip No.14: Always Lock Your Doors

Source: www.labelmaster.com
Source: www.labelmaster.com

I know that in any given situation you might think that this is kind of no-brainer tip because it is logical to lock your doors. Still, there are a lot of cargo thefts that have occurred due to this problem. To be more precise, almost quarter of cargo thefts have come about due to open trailer doors.

This should be a number one rule for both the new as well as to the experienced truck drivers. It might happen from time to time to stop by a rest area and start talking with some other truck driver, and in the meantime to forget that the trailer doors are still open.

It is simple, whatever the situation might be, straight after you pick-up the cargo lock the doors. Also, you should perform the same after you do the delivery. Hence, the ones that shall pay special attention to this are the LTL less than load truck drivers.

Tip No.15: Watch What You Say

Have you heard the old saying “loose lips sinking ships”? Actually, there is truth behind these words. The more information that the truck driver shares with other people, especially with people that he meets on truck stops, the higher are the risks of cargo theft.

Moreover, the Tip No.15 For Preventing Cargo Theft recommends to truck drivers to watch what they are saying about the cargo that they are loading.

The targeting of a particular truck driver or that is to say the targeting of a cargo starts right there. By not knowing truck drivers are putting their life in danger. Altogether with that, they might face charges about the stolen cargo.

Nonetheless, if the truck driver is careful enough about what he says, he will lower the chances of cargo theft. It’s that simple.

Tip No.16: Follow Pickup and Delivery Protocols

Well, there ain’t a doubt why the Tip No.16 stands for Following the Pickup and Delivery Protocols. There are many trucking companies all across the USA that have at least once witnessed loading of a thief’s truck. And not only that, there have been situations as well when a loyal truck driver without knowing delivers the loads in the hands of thieves.

Source: www.fueloyal.com
Source: www.fueloyal.com

These are the main reasons why each driver should carefully follow the pickup and delivery protocols. In order to prevent cargo theft, each truck driver shall request identification to each personnel that is operating in cargo loading. Also, truck drivers should pay a lot of attention as well to unloading in the correct location.

Tip No.17: Weed Out Dishonest Employees

Having a team of truck drivers who are dishonest can bring a lot of trouble for your trucking company. I bet that you wouldn’t like it if your trucking company which is with a good reputation ends up at the bottom with all the unprofessional trucking companies. Not only that, by providing unprofessional services, and by losing loads, your company will end up with loosing loyal customers.

Therefore, the best way how you can protect your company from dishonest people is to conduct a background check. By conducting background checks you will be able to screen details about all of your employees.

Yet, you can also focus your check on the employees that do have access to shipment information and loads.

Tip No.18: Form An Alliance With Other Trucking Companies

One of the best options for preventing cargo theft is forming an alliance with other trucking companies. This step can provide ultimate cargo protection to all the trucking companies that are in your area.

Source: www.overdriveonline.com
Source: www.overdriveonline.com

Moreover, if you form an alliance with other trucking companies, not only that you will get more information about the potential thieves and their most common location, but also you will be able to share thoughts and opinions with people that are working in the same industry as you are.

We can also consider this as adding another layer of security. There are proves that this alliances can increase the safety of both internal and external cargo theft.

Tip No.19: Hybrid Theft Scams

In this sub-heading that I have dedicated to the Tip No.19 For Preventing Cargo Theft, I will speak about the hybrid theft scams. The ones that have to be really concerned about the hybrid theft scams are the manufacturers and the other people that are in search for a trucking company to transport their logs.

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Nowadays, there are all different types of trucking companies. That is why if you are in search for a load transportation provider, you should do a detailed research about the history and work of the company. Furthermore, you can take a look at the best nationwide trucking companies. Hope this will meet your way.

But to get back to the fact that I have mentioned to you before. There are all different types of trucking companies, there is even that kind of companies that will bid to transport the cargo and will end up stealing it. And not only that, these types of trucking companies will also claim that their identity is compromised.

Thereupon, play smart when choosing a load transportation provider.

Tip No. 20: Conduct Regular Audits

The easiest way for a trucking company to see if there are any gaps in their work is through conducting regular audits. In that direction, I have dedicated this Tip No.20 For Preventing Cargo Theft to the regular audits.

Source: www.traxpay.com
Source: www.traxpay.com

Thereupon, cargo thefts are more commonly done on the road while the truck is parked in an unsecured area, or when it’s left unattended for a long time. But did you know that these are not the only cases when a cargo theft is noticed?

Yes, cargo theft can also happen in various other ways. Some thieves are using alternative ways to get to the desired cargo. It can happen during the loading time, as well as during the unloading.

So, by the means of conducting supply chain audits you will have a better insight of what is going on in your trucking company.

Conclusion

To sum it up, cargo theft is a really serious problem with which trucking companies are facing. I believe that the 20 tips that I included in this article will be of your great help.

Thereupon, if you have ever faced a cargo theft and you want to share some tips and tricks to your colleagues- truck drivers, please feel free to do that in the comment box below.

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