Cargo theft is a major issue that impacts the transportation and shipping industry and results in billions of dollars in losses. Theft is particularly prevalent during the holiday season that spans from September to December. Thieves know that shipping trucks are moving nonstop to deliver goods to distribution centers and retailers to meet the demand of holiday gift-giving, and they take advantage of the busy season.
That’s not the only time there’s a spike in cargo theft. Any weekend comes with increased risk, especially if it’s a long holiday weekend, and not necessarily because of increased shipments. On holiday weekends, shipments are often left unattended for longer periods of times, and there may be fewer security personnel on patrol.
A lot of work goes into managing a fleet and preventing cargo theft, and chances are there will never be a solution that protects the transportation process entirely from vulnerabilities. That said, there are several things a smart fleet can do to try to cut down on cargo loss. Here are three tips for keeping your cargo secure:
1. Analyze your routes to determine where cargo theft is most likely to occur.
Most cargo theft incidents occur at truck stops, highway rest areas, and unsecured public locations. There’s a saying that “cargo at rest is cargo at risk.” If cargo is left unattended for any period of time, it’s at risk. The most likely place for theft is known as the “red zone,” which includes the areas within 200 miles from the origin of the shipment.
With better route planning, it becomes possible to plan for drivers to stop in safe areas. Some fleets have approved rest stops that drivers are expected to use. Route planning software can help with mapping out the safest routes. Make sure all your drivers are aware of where the “red zone” is and that they know to only stop in brightly lit, secure areas within that radius.
2. Make your company’s culture aware of cargo security issues.
Promoting a security-conscious culture goes a long way toward ensuring that employees know how to keep cargo safe and are motivated to be proactive. Ensure that your company’s employees are aware of the danger involved with cargo shipping. This can be done by delivering training material focused on cargo loss prevention and discussions on appropriate employee behavior.
Many cargo theft incidents are orchestrated with the help of inside information. It’s important to be extremely careful when hiring as well as when choosing transportation partners, but sometimes employees leak information to thieves without realizing. Encourage employees to keep details about the transportation process private so that they will not be responsible for providing inside information to people outside of the company. One way to make it clear that you are dedicated to stopping theft is to work with law enforcement and even involve them in security education sessions. Your company should also conduct frequent security audits.
3. Utilize asset tracking technology to keep an eye on your cargo at all times.
Of course, one of the best ways to have peace of mind that your cargo is safe is by keeping an eye on your cargo fleets at all times. You can’t be everywhere at once, but asset tracking technology goes a long way. Asset tracking and fleet management solutions can help you keep tabs on your fleet’s status, the state of the cargo, and other important details.
With the right technology, you can monitor all of the valuable goods being transported through a simple application. Maintaining fleet visibility makes it that much easier to know that your cargo is secure and will make it to its final destination. It also gives you insight into the typical movement patterns of your fleet, which allows you to notice quickly if there are any anomalies. Then, you can easily review and assess the situation from wherever you are.
Using these tips will keep your fleet safer year-round and avoid substantial cargo losses. Looking for the right asset tracking technology to help? SkyBitz Enterprise Fleets’ cargo theft prevention solutions use GPS tracking devices and fleet management software to make fleets more secure and more efficient.
Talk to one of our experts to learn more about SkyBitz Enterprise Fleets and what our asset tracking technology can do for your business.
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