There is often a significant measure of stress associated with being a carrier or a freight broker. Finding reputable companies. Ensuring the on-time pickup and delivery of loads. Responsibility for the safety of the load. Securing on-time payments for services rendered. The list goes on, and—unfortunately—doesn’t exclude the growing volume of cargo thefts reported each year.
Both carriers and brokers are attempting to accomplish the same goal – a quick, efficient, and profitable transport of freight. The majority of the time this is accomplished by the preplanning of the route. Oftentimes a major deciding factor in route-planning is the security and safety of the load while in transit.
Despite all precautions taken, there is an increasingly large volume of loads that are stolen. Most of the time this occurs through: theft of the tractor and trailer; theft of the product from the trailer directly; theft of an unattended trailer; or theft directly from the shipper via identity theft.
Generally, the most commonly stolen commodities are the ones that can be flipped quickly and without a trace. The top four include food and drink, household goods, electronics, and metals.
With Memorial Day just around the corner (high-theft time for cargo), here are a few tips for both brokers and carriers to consider to keep that cargo safe.
- Verify you are indeed working with an authorized representative of the carrier.
- Have the shipper verify the carriers who arrive to pick up the load.
- Use load tracking.
- Purchase a shippers-interest policy such as Cargo Insurance, which covers theft for an affordable, flat rate.
- Park in a fenced-off, secure lot if possible.
- Plan your route to avoid high theft areas.
- Don’t leave your keys in the tractor no matter how quickly you’ll be back.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and look for vehicles that start following you from the pick-up location.
- Purchase a high quality lock for your trailer.
- Verify you’re working with an authorized representative of the broker.
- Verify you’re working with an authorized broker of the shipper’s freight.
Should you fall victim of cargo theft, you should immediately notify the local authorities where the theft took place, inform all parties involved, and file a report with Truckstop.com via email at firstname.lastname@example.org