RFX Blog

Protect Your Freight This Holiday Season

December 11th, 2014

Photo Credit: Neuwleser  |  Flickr Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Neuwleser | Flickr Creative Commons

The holiday season can be a dangerous time for cargo security. The boom in retail volume coupled with trucks left vacant over Christmas & New Years Day provide the perfect opportunity for thieves to steal cargo and equipment. In the interest of protecting our transportation community from a billion-dollar cargo theft problem, we’d like to share some tips to keep your people and equipment safe and protect your freight this holiday season.

1.  Implement an Asset Tracking Solution – Fleets should use trailer tracking on all equipment.  It may seem like just one more expense, but it can go a long way in recovering your stolen cargo and equipment. There are many solutions for asset tracking. At Refrigerated Food Express, we currently use Skybitz to track our fleet. About six years ago, we had a stolen trailer that was recovered using Skybitz. As we reinvest in new refrigerated equipment, we plan to implement Thermo King’s TracKing solution which is built into the refrigeration unit’s computer system. There are many competitors of Skybitz that offer more robust solutions for more money, or really cheap solutions that have limited options. Choose a solution that fits within your budget.  Anything is better than nothing.

2. Keep Your Freight Locked Up – Dispatchers and truck operators should coordinate a secure lot, truck stop or terminal where the driver’s equipment can be placed behind a locked gate with the freight secured behind locked doors. If the trailer must be dropped, the driver should secure the trailer with a pin lock, ensuring that no one else can move the trailer without the key.

3. Keep Moving – Once you’ve made your pickup, make sure to move your truck away from major transportation hubs where cargo theft is common. Cargo thieves look for cargo in specific hot spots to steal freight. Do not leave your truck unattended in a major metropolitan area. Always keep your freight on the move and away from those hot spots for theft, whenever possible.

4. Communicate with Others – Join trade organizations that combat fraud and cargo theft.  The American Trucking Association and the Transportation Intermediaries Association are a couple examples of trade organizations who have formed committees to spot fraud and identity theft as well as offering mechanisms for fleets to get the word out on stolen goods. CargoNet is another example of an anti-theft orgonization. CargoNet seeks to prevent theft through awareness and predictive analytics as well as serve as a resource for cargo theft reporting. Often in cargo theft situations, authorities can send mixed messages regarding jurisdiction. Which police department do we call? Our local branch? The branch closest to the theft? The branch closest to the shipper or cargo owner? How long will we have to wait before an official investigation has begun? After all, this is obviously a very time-sensitive issue.  CargoNet has partnerships with industry trade organizations and law enforcement. They serve as a bridge between our industry and the authorities that make a career of tracking down cargo thieves.

 

Posted on December 11th, 2014 in Trucking Tips