Dominic Toretto and his crew in The Fast and the Furious had highly sophisticated, souped-up cars that for sure cost a fortune apiece. They supported their need for speed by jacking delivery trucks. Not all thieves drive max-tuned Civics and Supras, and certainly, none of them can drive like that or do those stunts, but the problem of theft does exist for real.
Worldwide, an estimated US$5 million is lost annually in the industry of logistics and transport. Some of that is due to damage, but a huge chunk of the losses is attributed to theft. It’s a problem in almost every country.
There is no foolproof way to protect your cargo from theft, but there are ways to minimise its occurrence and keep your cargo safe from being stolen or damaged. Here are some suggestions:
Make sure everything is strapped in tight
Using high-quality poly woven strapping will keep your cargo from bouncing around in the container. The more secure you make the cargo inside the container, the better. The less secure, the higher the chances that something might go wrong in transit — and that’s all the opportunity thieves need to get what they want.
Did you know that most stolen cargo is taken before the truck is 200 miles (321.87 km) away from its starting point? To reduce the chances of thieves from taking your cargo, trailer, vehicle, or container, don’t stop for a break before you reach the end of that ‘red zone.’
The most organised and sophisticated thieves can dress up as drivers. When they arrive, you are likely to let them take the trailer or container. Before allowing them access to your cargo loading area, verify if they are employed by checking their website or making a call. This will also prevent theft by people who are using the name of a business that's no longer existent.
Secure your pre-loaded cargo
Pre-loading saves time, particularly during busy seasons. It's also an opportunity for thieves to take what they want. Don’t simply let them hitch the trailer; make that call and keep security personnel close. If you have pre-loaded containers during weekends or holidays, keep them in an enclosed area with double security. It costs more, but it’s nothing compared to losing your cargo to theft.
Use satellite monitoring
Install GPS on all your vehicles and containers. Digital monitoring is the next best thing to being there. You can identify if cargo is being re-routed and alert the authorities.
Cargo damage and theft is a huge problem in logistics and transportation. Make sure you are prepared to reduce the chances of losing your cargo.