With the holiday season in full swing and Christmas only days away, keeping a watchful eye when moving freight becomes especially important this time of year.
According to FreightWatch International�s recently published Holiday Cargo Theft report, cargo thefts during the Christmas holiday season increase 28 percent, on a per-day basis, against other calendar holidays. And the total cost of year-round thefts is around $30 billion annually.
Because the holiday shipping season begins in September, cargo thieves have learned to keep a close eye on truckers, both the type of freight they�re moving and how carefully they are � or aren�t � watching over their cargo.
FreightWatch reports the most commonly stolen goods are food and drinks, and electronics.
To help ensure you don�t become a target this season, we�ve compiled a safety checklist to keep your load safe while you�re out on the road.
1. Park where you can keep an eye on your freight.
Inevitably when on the road, you�re going to need to take a break. When you do decide to stop, whenever possible, park where you can keep an eye on your truck. The saying �out of sight, out of mind� can create too easy a target for holiday cargo thieves who have learned to keep a close eye on unattended freight.
2. Never leave your truck open.
Believe it or not, it only takes a brief moment for thieves to hop into an open, unattended truck and take what they want. If you are parked and have opened your trailer, never walk away from the truck while the doors are open � not even for a minute. Because thieves target such opportunities, you immediately present the perfect opportunity for cargo theft.
3. Use a strong locking device.
When securing your freight, paying attention to the quality of your lock is important. If you have a detached trailer, using a strong kingpin-locking device can help keep your freight safe and deter any cargo thieves who won�t risk the time it takes to break the lock open. Before you�re moving freight, double-check how well your lock system is working and make any necessary upgrades or improvements before safety becomes an issue.
4. Know your security measures � and stick to them.
Every transportation professional should have security measures and processes in place to help prevent cargo theft and crime. If you do have defined measures, be sure you know the guidelines and follow them. With increased freight to move, defined security measures are an attractive quality for shippers. If you don�t have measures in place, be sure to do so as soon as possible.
5. Insert tracking devices into cargo.
During the holiday season, tracking devices can become an invaluable safety tool. Inserting the device into cargo, as opposed to the trailer, can help locate stolen freight that has been separated from the truck. If you aren�t looking to make a long-term commitment on a tracking system, they are available to rent during the holiday season.
Do you have any other ways you protect your freight from theft during the holiday season?
Have you ever had your freight stolen?