Protecting your business against theft is important at any time of year, but none more so than this holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That’s when cargo at rest tends to become cargo at risk. And thieves will make it cargo that’s stolen, especially if you make it easy on them.
Even though we don’t have the same mechanisms in place to track cargo theft the way we do for break-and-enter, burglaries or auto theft, we do know that theft tends to increase during the holiday season.
Part of that is that there is just so much more cargo in play. High volumes of shipping mean high values of goods that can be targeted by cargo thieves. The real issue of vulnerability is cargo at rest, which is often just sitting there waiting to be stolen or pilfered. In fact, with electronic tracking devices mandated and becoming more prevalent in cabs, less thieves are interested in stealing entire loads. That has led to a rise in selective pilfering.
Christmas comes each December, but the Christmas cycle actually begins each September. That’s when warehouses are likely to be full and when shipping picks up as retailers stock up for the holiday buying season.
Transportation companies that tend to be diligent in their anti-theft measures year-round tend to be the ones that show the best results during the busy holiday season. They are the companies that:
1. Are aggressive and consistent in their anti-theft precautions, including on-site security personnel, ELDs, security signage and warnings;
2. Have secure (with effective perimeter fencing) and well-designed, well-lit facilities. They use the latest in technology, from high security locks to surveillance;
3. Deploy vigilance and best practices, including reducing the number of “unmarried” trailers that sit unattended and typically do not have ELDs. They are the companies with the best communications systems in place (especially between dispatch and drivers).
Having the right cargo theft insurance protection in place is important for two reasons. First, it protects your business from losses due to lost, stolen or damaged cargo. Second, it sends a clear message to your clients that you take their business seriously and that you are looking to protect all parties involved in your shipping transaction.
For more information on this important topic, we recommend you check in with the two independent organizations that monitor cargo thefts year-round (including quarterly reports that depict year-over-year trends) – CargoNet and SensiGuard: