Source: Siwakorn1933/ Shutterstock.com
- Cargo thefts reached record levels in 2020.
- Conduct background checks on employees involved with shipping.
- Train truck drivers on cargo theft prevention techniques.
- Use newer technology to thwart thieves.
Recent increases in the volume of cargo shipments have also led to increased thefts. 2020 saw cargo thefts climb to their highest recorded amounts in the past five years. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) estimates that cargo theft cost companies between $15 and 35 billion in 2020.
More than half of all thefts occur in just three states: California (20%), Texas (18%) and Florida (11%). Large cities also make up these hot spots where thefts are most likely to occur.
What can your business do to reduce cargo loss? Learn to maximize your company’s employee training, security and technology for cargo theft prevention.
Hire Trustworthy Employees
Making sure you hire trustworthy employees is your first step. Conduct background checks, especially for all warehouse workers and truck drivers. Consider running background checks and regular screenings on anyone involved with shipping or logistics matters as well.
Add confidentiality clauses to employee contracts to keep important data private. You don’t want workers sharing delivery route information with outsiders or potential competitors.
Building trust works both ways. Create a positive work environment and reward your reliable employees to help worker retention. This can also help you attract more high-quality workers and develop loyalty to your company.
Finally, always follow up on any unusual behaviors and suspicious activity. Conduct periodic screenings and audits of departments and employees.
Source: rCarner/ Shutterstock.com
Properly Train Your Workers
A key step in cargo theft prevention is worker education. Cargo theft is a crime of opportunity. Use employee training and procedures to reduce your vulnerabilities and minimize opportunities for thefts.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that cargo is most likely to be stolen from fully loaded, unattended trucks within 200 miles of departure. Educate your drivers to travel outside of the 200-mile red zone before stopping.
Theft is more likely to occur on Fridays and over weekends, so train your drivers to be more vigilant on those days.
Upward of 85% of cargo theft occurs in empty parking lots. Drivers should only park in well-lit, secure parking lots when carrying cargo. When at all possible, never leave a fully loaded truck unattended.
Include drivers in your confidentiality clauses. Truck drivers should never share information about the cargo they are carrying or their shipping route to anyone outside the company.
Keep up with truck and warehouse maintenance. Make sure the truck’s rear door locks are in working order and storage areas are secure. Install cameras where appropriate and consider hiring additional security to ward off thieves.
Keep Up-to-Date with Technology
Technology for cargo theft prevention is constantly evolving. New tech goes beyond the basics of scanning package tracking numbers.
Low-tech options like security seals on cargo allow you to spot any evidence of tampering or theft. High-tech GPS devices allow you to track cargo along the entire shipping line.
Trucks can be equipped with new technology like trackers and immobilizers. Trackers alert your business when the truck steers too far off the delivery route. Install an immobilizer in your truck to keep thieves from turning on the ignition and stealing the vehicle, even if they have the keys.
Front, side and rear-facing cameras for trucks are also available, offering surveillance and an extra layer of security when trucks are left unattended. Many cameras come with cloud storage, so camera footage is still available if a truck is stolen.
The average cost of cargo theft is $50,000. Investing in technology that prevents these thefts can save your company money in the long run.
Source: ADragan/ Shutterstock.com
Secure Cargo with Proper Shipping Materials
Using the right materials for shipping helps prevent cargo theft and loss. You need boxes made of strong material that won’t easily tear open or break apart.
Boxes also need to be the proper size. If they’re too big, your cargo can shift and get damaged during transit.
While some companies prefer branded boxes with their logos, using plain boxes may help deter theft. Air Sea Containers offers businesses custom shipping boxes to fit any type of inventory, available in any size your business needs, with or without your company logo.
We also carry custom hazmat boxes with full government approval. Air Sea Containers can also provide your business with all hazmat shipping labels to ensure compliance with international and domestic safe shipping standards.
Prevent Cargo Theft with Packaging from Air Sea Containers
Preventing cargo theft is a multi-step approach. Start by verifying your employees are trustworthy and are not engaging in behaviors or actions that lead to increased cargo theft.
Focus on educating and training your workforce in cargo theft prevention techniques. Keep up to date with the latest technologies to help ensure your cargo gets to its destination. Use quality shipping materials appropriate for your products. Take these actions to secure your shipments and prevent expensive cargo loss.