Cargo theft can occur anywhere and at any time. However, there are preventive measures that can (and should be taken) to help prevent cargo theft from happening to you. Here are a few tips that owner-operators and drivers can take to help keep their loads secure:
Establish a Culture of Security
If you’re an owner-operator, make security a pillar of your company culture. Have a protocol and policies in place that helps to prevent cargo theft from happening. Train your team specifically on the proper way to secure a load and other awareness and preventive measures that should be taken while out on a run. Additionally, it’s important to have policies and procedures in place on what drivers in the event that their cargo does get stolen.
Watch Your Mouth
Whether you’re hauling something of value or not, you should be mindful of not only what you say about your load, but where you say it as well. Discussing your cargo on social media and CB radio can make you an easy target for thieves to track you and steal your load.
Know Your Surroundings
When it’s time to stop, don’t park out in Timbuktu away from any type of security measures; instead, use your surroundings to your advantage to protect your cargo. Park in well-lit, populated areas where you can see your rig from inside your stop. Look for security cameras and park so your rig is positioned in its view. And when possible, back your rig up against fences, other trailers, or large brush making it difficult to open your trailer’s door.
Knowing your surroundings isn’t limited to just when you’re stopped. You can be tracked or followed while in route. Be mindful of the vehicles you’re sharing the road with. If you feel that you are being followed, slow down and change lanes to see what the suspected vehicle does. If it passes, you’re more than likely in the clear but make note of the license plate, just in case. If the vehicle doesn’t pass you, then get off at the next exit. If you’re still being followed, contact your fleet for further guidance and assistance.
Have trailers equipped with GPS tracking devices to keep tabs on where your cargo is at all times. If a load is off route, trucking companies can be alerted the truck is not where it’s supposed to be and the driver can be contacted to question why the route has been changed.
While much of this seems like common sense, you just never know when a scammer will cross your path. Always take the proper security measures and precautions to prevent you from becoming a victim of cargo theft.