Cargo thefts of delivery trucks and fleets is not new to the United States. It has not only remained steady, it is continuing to rise. Truck and freight thefts are becoming one of the biggest theft-related crimes in the U.S., due to opportunity and insider information. It is important to learn about cargo thefts risks, how to avoid dangerous situations, and what you need to do to protect your business, aside from having protection with business auto insurance.
Cargo Theft Risks and Dangers
There are certain situations that can put your drivers at risk. While rest stops are important as it gives drivers plenty of time to rest and have their trucks re-fueled, they can also put them in danger of theft. Truck drivers are encouraged to only use rest stops when necessary, and to be extra careful when they are parked at these locations. Even rest stops operated by trucking companies are at risk. Your business is also at risk from insider thefts, as a large percentage of cargo thefts occur by drivers or other employees who work in the trucking industry.
Being Careful During Peak Times
There is a higher percentage of truck cargo thefts occurring over the weekend, particularly on Sundays. If you can, try to have your drivers only working primarily during the weekday and be extra cautious when stopping at truck stops during the weekend. During the weekend, goods like pharmaceuticals, apparel, food and electronics were commonly stolen.
The Importance of Driver Training
It is essential that all your drivers go through training in order to look for the signs of potential danger, and how to avoid situations that could be risky. They should know not to leave the trailer unattended, to be sure it is locked up properly, and to use a kingpin lock that covers the tractor yoke in order to prevent theft.
How to Prevent Cargo Theft
Aside from these tips, there are also more ways to prevent cargo theft and protect your business.
Use GPS tracking devices. This may not prevent a theft, but it can help you recover the items that were stolen. There are a variety of GPS tracking devices available that are easy to use and allow you to catch thieves.
Back up against walls or fences. When your drivers need to stop for a rest, ask them to back up against something that would prevent a theft through the back of the trailer. This can be a wall, fence or other trailers trying to do the same thing.
Park in well-lit areas. Most people won’t attempt to steal from a truck if it is in a busy, well-lit area. Parking near restaurants or other public buildings is a great way to avoid a theft.
Don’t let others know where you are. If your drivers use social media, ask them not to reveal their current location or what they are transporting in their truck. Anyone could find these posts and it puts them at risk of theft.
After taking these important steps for preventing cargo theft, be sure you have proper business insurance for your company. You should have commercial auto insurance to protect your business against theft.