The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates cargo crimes to be responsible for losses between $15 billion and $30 billion annually*, and this value is most likely much larger - as many incidents go unreported (due to fear of increased insurance rates and reputation-damaging publicity).
Below are 3 very startling rising trends of cargo theft happening in the trucking industry today for all drivers to remember and tips for how to avoid them with necessary precautions.
This happens when a thief impersonates an actual carrier and is hired on for the job. He then secures a load and disappears. They drive away before there is any question of their legitimacy.
How to avoid it: According to Overdrive.com, “Combating this issue involves a little trust with verification — double-checking the identities of company reps via phone calls to the legitimate company home, matching phone numbers and other contact/address info on paperwork to home city, state and DOT (Safer.gov) listings for the business.”
In a fictitious pickup, a thief usually figures out when a legitimate arrangement is taking place and arrives to the scene early, posing as a shipper/broker with forged paperwork to pick up the load. An hour later, the legitimate company shows up, but the freight is nowhere to be seen.
How to avoid it: Be aware of risky locations. As targeting drivers increases, make sure you are aware of your surroundings and situations. Keep updated on crime “hotspots” and try to avoid stopping in those locations.
Also, watch what you say whether in person or online about your load and where you are headed. Keep important information to yourself, or the wrong people may use it.
Straight cargo theft
Remaining the most common type of cargo theft, straight cargo theft involves thieves hitching a loaded trailer, unloading a trailer, or driving away with a full tractor-trailer. Straight cargo theft accounts for 10% of thefts nationwide.
How to avoid it: Park backed up against walls, fences, and other trailers to block intruders. Form alliances with other trucking companies so you can all look out for each other. Finally, stay with your vehicle as much as possible. By doing so, theft is much more difficult for the robbers.
Cargo theft is a growing and devastating issue. Knowing the risks and how to avoid them may keep you from finding yourself in a sticky situation.
TVC Insurance offers coverage to protect any losses that occur from Cargo Theft. To learn more and get a free quote visit tvcinsurance.com.