June 28, 2016

Cargo Theft Is Hurting The Transportation Industry & Tips To Prevent It

Cargo theft is a growing problem in the United States. Back in 2014, it was reported that more than 18 million dollars worth of cargo was stolen in the first quarter of the year. It is important to recognize how problematic this issue is and how it is affecting the transportation industry.

Is Cargo Theft That Big of a Problem?

You probably have a vague idea of how big this problem is, but the truth is it is costing the industry about 30 billion dollars each year. The issue has been steadily increasing by 13 percent. There are a lot of theories behind the increase, but most point to the downturn in economic stability. Of course, this does not excuse the crime, but it is one of the possible reasons that the transportation industry is seeing such high cargo theft incidents.

What should be understood is that the 30 billion dollar figure is counting the amount of goods lost during the heists. The companies themselves are also hurt in other ways. There is a significant disruption of the flow of goods between suppliers and receivers; this means lost hours. One should also remember that there are other expenses related to these thefts, such as police investigations and insurance costs–just to mention a few.

All of these expenses can have a trickle down effect where the consumers and the producers may end up suffering as well.

What Can Be Done to Prevent These Thefts?

The fact is these thefts need to stop to ensure that prices stay where they are, especially during these economic times. There is still a lot that could be done to prevent this issue. Of course, this does not mean that thefts will not occur, but at least it may be possible reduce them.

The first thing that you can do is learn a few patterns. For example, it seems that most thefts occur on the weekend. Seventeen percent of all thefts occur on Sundays while 18 percent occur on Saturdays. And 15 percent of the thefts happen on Monday. It is important to either increase security or watchfulness during these days, or try to avoid them altogether if you can.

Another thing to consider are the regions that are plagued with thefts. Statistics show that California has the most thefts. It is important to take extra precautions when traveling in California. There are other states that should be on your risk list, like Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Georgia, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.

It is also important to identify problem areas, like truck stops. It is important to go over some of the safety measures with drivers and make sure they are following them. One safety measure to remember is to always use the locking mechanism. This is to ensure that a tractor cannot easily pick up the cargo and drive away. Another important thing to remember is that truck stops are usual targets. You may want to encourage drivers to avoid truck stops if they can. They should opt for secured locations instead; this could be a hotel, fuel stops, or even big stores that have monitored parking. Of course, the locations chosen must allow trucks to stop there.

The shippers could also use tracking devices to ensure that there is a plan B, just in case the police need to get involved. Keep in mind that these are just suggestions and not guarantees.

It is clear to see that cargo thieves are having a detrimental effect on the entire transportation industry as well as small shipping companies. It is important to do everything possible to prevent these issues.