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Cargo theft criminals these days are becoming more of an international problem. They are affecting trucking business as well as their customers.


So, the goal of the cargo theft criminals is to steal the most quality loads, so that they can get more money out of it. Cargo theft criminals are stealing at any point in between of pickups and deliveries.

Moreover, cargo theft criminals are compromising the product integrity and availability.

Yet, cargo theft criminals from the U.S. are most commonly being recruited from the United States and are been trained by Cuban crime syndicates. After they complete the training process they are brought back to the U.S. to establish their operations.

Hence, cargo theft criminals are targeting loads that they can easily broker through people who are buying stolen property. Later on, they are reselling the loads.

But, how are cargo theft criminals getting to the loads?

Well, time after time, cargo theft criminals are gathering information on industrial parks as well as distribution facilities. In general, they set up surveillance outside the facilities and are constantly monitoring the happenings.

Modern cargo theft criminals these days, not only that they are stealing loads, but they are in fact stealing trailers. They hook up the trailers and move to a secured location.

As you can see, it is a must for trucking companies to take a number of actions in order to improve their facilities and vehicle security.

The Most Commonly Stolen Loads Due Cargo Theft

As I mentioned before, cargo theft criminals are most commonly targeting loads that are easy to a broker to people who are buying stolen items.


That is to say, cargo thieves are gathering all possible information on industrial parks or distribution facilities where customers and trucking companies are storing the cargo that should be included in a transportation process.

The cargo stealing process includes:

  • Changing packaging;
  • Re-labeling boxes;
  • Creating paperwork to facilitate the cargo’s movement out of the country;

Nevertheless, cargo theft criminals are always focused on easy targets that won’t bring them hard consequences.

So, following this fact, we can see that some of the most highly targeted shipments are the consumer electronics, apparel, food, as well as pharmaceuticals.

Thereupon, when trucking companies are losing perishable items such as medicine and food, there is no point for them to recover the cargo.

Trucking companies that have been victims of cargo theft criminals stealing them perishable items are most commonly paying for themselves.

Additional Tips To Protect Your Cargo

Train Truck Drivers on Cargo Theft Policies

As it is familiar so far, trucking companies should take protective strategies in order to achieve maximum security. So speaking about that, many trucking companies decide to implement cargo theft protection policies.


Moreover, the very first point that cargo theft protection policies include is the prohibition of pre-loading their cargo as a time-saving measure.

It is so, mainly because when truck drivers are performing pre-loading they are putting themselves as well as the cargo at risk of cargo theft.

Thereupon, truck drivers should understand that trucking companies are setting specific time limits pertaining how long the cargo can be left unattended.

The shorter amount of time the cargo stays unattended the better.

Avoid Pre Loading

If you are already part of the trucking industry, you should know that pre-loading cargo is prohibited because it can put the cargo at risk.

So, truck drivers should take into practice picking up loads and starting the transportation process right away.


Thereupon, trucking companies should train their truck drivers to avoid preloading and to keep the cargo spend very minimal time in an unattended lot.

Verify The Driver and Truck at Pick-Up

Since cargo thieves are becoming more sophisticated it is not strange to see how they are making scams.

For example, it has happened to few trucking companies to experience a cargo thief impersonate a trucking company personnel when picking up a load of cargo.


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Therefore, customers should be alerted to this fact too.

Customers should always verify the name of the driver picking up the cargo with the trucking company.

Evaluate The Theft Potential

The best way that trucking companies can evaluate the theft prevention is through following these points:

  • Develop routes in which truck drivers will avoid high-crime areas;
  • Understand how the cargo will travel;
  • Consider the timing of shipments when transporting loads in higher-crime areas;
  • Enforce a high standard within the load transportation operations;
  • Consider equipping high-value loads with tracking equipment;

Top 10 U.S. Cargo Theft Counties

Cargo theft has become a growing concern for trucking companies.

Thereupon, trucking companies should be specially alerted when transporting loads in the following top 10 U.S. cargo theft counties:

On the other hand, if we take a look at cargo theft by location, then we would end up with the following result:

  1. Warehouse: 329 thefts;
  2. Other: 295;
  3. Parking Lot: 170;
  4. Secured Lot: 166;
  5. Unsecured yard: 120;

Mitigating Cargo Theft Risks

Trucking companies through mitigating cargo theft risks can pro-actively help themselves to improve the security.


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Hence, here is how trucking companies can mitigate cargo theft risks:

  • By deploying covert tracking devices;
  • Trucking companies can ask local police agencies to make routine checks of facilities during holiday downtime;
  • Should avoid having loaded trailers sit unattended when truck drivers are not present;
  • To secure the trucks and trailers with high-security locking devices;
  • To remove the keys from all facility equipment;
  • To document and report all suspicious activity that is going on around your trucking company, or around your vehicles;


To enumerate, cargo theft can happen anywhere and at any time. Yet, it is more likely to happen during the weekends and holidays. That is why trucking companies should take proactive steps towards increasing cargo security.



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