Putting an End to Cargo Theft

Sep 16, 2013

Cargo theft has been a topic of concern for fleet managers for as long as there has been cargo; maritime pirates of the 16th and 17th centuries where cargo thieves, just as stagecoach robberies of the 18th and 19th centuries and train robberies of the 19th and 20th centuries were cargo thefts. Thwarting this ever present injustice continues to burden fleets with stress and the issues that arise from micro-managerial tactics. However, there are simple practices that, if implemented, can prevent cargo theft, a $35 billion industry in 2011.

Cargo Theft Prevention


With the advancement in technology that fleets have access to in the 21st century, criminals have had to devise alternative methods of stealing. Systems like Lo-Jack®, and other GPS tracking systems have led to a decrease in violent acquisition. Unfortunately, cargo theft overall has not seen a significant decline due to these technological advancements.  There have been numerous reported cases of employees of shipping companies transacting the theft because they have garnered trust from the corporation.  In addition to interior offenses, lack of clear communication in the logistics channel has led to countless other robberies. This lack of communication is the area that fleet managers and fleet operators should place the greatest focus. Without knowing precise drop-off and pick-up details beforehand, drivers have succumbed to feats of deception and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars of cargo because of this oversight in transparency. To ward off these efforts of deceptive crookery, fleet managers need to ensure that the receiving and shipping teams are on the same page with time and location of drop-off.

Theft Prevention Tips for Fleet Operators

~  Before departing verify delivery location, time and with whom the cargo is being left with at the destination
~  Secure tractors with air-cuff and tractor steering joint locks
~  Implement tracking devices in both the trailer and on products in the event of theft
~  Secure both unloaded and loaded trailers with ISO 17712 compliant barrier seals
~  Utilize hardened padlocks for access doors.
~  Ensure unattached trailers remain immobile with kingpin locks
~  Avoid leaving trailers unattended, if abandoning equipment is an absolute necessity be sure they are in a secure location
~  Utilize a theft prevention device like SafeKey or the Ravelco Anti-Theft Device

These are simple steps that all fleets should already be implementing as habit. Do not make a costly mistake as a fleet manager by believing that your deliveries are not going to be targeted. Having a fleet be reduced in size negates all other cost saving practices that have been tediously executed, from meticulous fleet maintenance, training drivers safe operation habits, and most importantly, money saved from fuel efficiency is now null due to the liability ensued by theft.