Many transportation businesses are concerned about cargo theft. Shippers and carriers often have cargo theft prevention measures in place, but there are certain actions you can take as a truck driver to lessen the likelihood of your vehicle being targeted by cargo thieves.
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How can you prevent cargo theft?
Pay Close Attention
Paying attention to your surroundings is the most crucial thing you can do to avoid cargo theft. If you notice anything out of the ordinary while driving or stopping at a truck stop or rest area, take precautions to safeguard yourself and your cargo. This may be as easy as contacting police, but it might also entail transferring your vehicle to a better parking position near security cameras or well-lit areas.
Keep an eye out for an automobile that may be following you on the road. If you feel someone is tailing you and are concerned that your vehicle may be a target for thieves, take a few turns and contact the police in addition to your fleet dispatch. If possible, drive into a police station, a well-lit gas station, or anyplace else safe and well-lit to wait for the cops.
When you park your vehicle, look for surveillance cameras within or near the parking lot and park as close to them as possible. You should also park with the back doors facing a wall or anything else that makes it more difficult for thieves to reach your cargo. If you’ve parked your large rig and observe someone suspect nearby, it might be difficult to unwind and sleep for the night. Notify the police and your local dispatch. You may wish to transfer your truck if you may and if your Hours of Service permit it.
Purchase a Dash Cam
Dashboard cameras are often used by truck drivers to protect themselves in the case of an accident, but they may also be highly valuable in avoiding cargo theft or, at the at least, assisting in the capture of the criminals if you are robbed. If your trucking employer does not pay for a dash cam to safeguard you and the cargo, there are several inexpensive ones that are well worth the expense to keep yourself safe.
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It is critical to communicate with your dispatcher on a regular basis. Some trucking firms require drivers to check in at every stop in order to disclose their location, length of the stop, and other information. This is especially true when moving high-risk products such as electronics or food and drinks. If you’re an owner-operator, keep in touch with your family or friends to allow them know where you are and when you anticipate to arrive at your next location. If anything occurs in between, the probe will go much more quickly.
Map Out Your Route
If you know you’re hauling high-value goods that may be stolen, be sure to arrange your route accordingly. It may not always be feasible to avoid all high-crime regions (hot spots) or truck stops with a reputation for cargo theft, but you may reduce your risk by avoiding pauses in such areas as much as possible. Cargo theft is more prevalent in port towns and big metropolitan regions than in other locations. And thefts are even more likely to occur while traveling around the holidays.
Make Use of Security Devices
Although it may seem apparent, installing locks and security seals is a simple and efficient technique to avoid cargo theft. Your organization may have guidelines regarding what kind of locks or security measures must be used for certain loads, so be sure you understand them and always follow them. Some loads may need king pin locks, while others may just require basic padlocks. It is critical that your trailer doors are constantly locked, regardless of the kind of lock you employ.
How does cargo theft happen?
Cargo theft is classified into two types: pilferage and hijacking. The majority of cargo thieves take stuff for one reason: to sell it on the illicit market. And both kinds of cargo theft will enable them to do so with your shipment.
Pilferage is the theft of a few cases or items from a consignment by cargo thieves. They break into your trailer, take what they can carry, and flee with a little portion of your stuff. These sorts of thefts are most common at truck stops, rest stops, and other locations where your vehicle may be left unattended. Theft of a few components of a huge cargo may not seem like a significant matter, but if you’re moving pricey gadgets, precious metals, and medical supplies, these missing units will be a costly problem.
Hijacking occurs when a criminal or group of thieves seizes control of your vehicle and drives away with the loaded trailer. This sort of cargo theft is even more perilous for the driver, as it happens while the vehicle is in motion. These robbers are often engaged in organized crime and have a set protocol for hijacking semi trucks. The presence of a dash cam and a GPS monitoring device may dissuade attempted hijackers. However, regardless of the sort of goods you’re transporting, be sure to report any unusual behavior on the road to police authorities.