Security Best Practices For Trucking

Cargo theft continues to rise, putting trucking companies in increasingly greater danger of losing their inventory, assets, reputation and profits to thieves.

“Cargo theft increased 20% in 2022.”
- CargoNet

When the economy shrinks, crime expands. With a possible recession on the horizon and inflation taking a bigger bite out of everyone’s budgets, the traffic in black market goods is skyrocketing. A profitable black market has sprung up to fill the gap between wages and inflation … with items you likely have in your warehouse and transport via your trucks.

Cargo Theft is Expected to Keep Rising

Cargo thieves use multiple methods to steal cargo, and they’re developing more successful methods every year. Need proof? Here are some 2022 cargo theft statistics that put this shocking phenomenon in perspective:

  • 1,776 cargo theft incidents were reported last year
  • California, Florida and Texas account for nearly half of all cargo theft in the U.S
  • Distribution centers and parking lots are the hottest spots for theft from trucks

“ Cargo theft in 2022 totaled $223 million in the U.S.” - CargoNet

Cargo theft is expected to continue to stay on its upward projection throughout 2023 and beyond, so it’s important to take proactive security measures to protect your products, profits and people now – before you’re hit.

Keeping Your Trucks Safe in Transit

Most cargo theft incidents occur while the cargo is in transit. Here are some ways to prevent expensive theft of your goods, while saving your drivers from the traumatizing effects of hijacking or robbery.

  1. Never leave a rig or semi unattended for long periods of time. If a driver must leave their truck unattended, choose a secure or authorized location with adequate lighting and security cameras. Park within view of the cameras.
  2. Lock it up. Whenever in transit, lock the tractor and trailer with a steering wheel lock, kingpin locks, glad-hand locks, and put industrial-strength padlocks on trailer doors.
  3. Take the keys. Eleven percent of stolen vehicles in the U.S. have the keys left inside.
  4. Encourage route planning. Your trucks are safest when you avoid remote areas, desolate routes, and poorly lit parking lots.
  5. Install vehicle alarms. Anti-theft alarms are a powerful deterrent against theft by drawing attention to the vehicle being targeted.
  6. Consider delivery order. In a multiple drop-off situation, put the most valuable cargo in the front of the trailer so it’s harder to access in a smash-and-grab theft situation. Conversely, putting the most valuable cargo in last and delivering it first is also a good move.

A Checklist for Truck Drivers

Trucks are most vulnerable on the road, and the primary barrier between your trucks and criminals is the drivers themselves. Make sure to train your drivers on loss and theft prevention, so they’ll know what to look for to keep themselves, their trucks, and their cargo safe.

Here are just a few points to go over with your drivers:

  1. Pay special attention when leaving and arriving. Most theft incidents in transit happen shortly after leaving the point of origin or just before arriving at the destination. A good rule of thumb is to have your drivers travel 200 miles or four hours before making a stop.
  2. Teach your drivers how to spot vehicles that may be tailing them, and what to do if they think they are being followed.
  3. Always keep doors locked and windows rolled up at stop lights, intersections, in traffic, and any time the truck is stopped or considerably slowed.
  4. Scammers may try to get a truck to pull over so they can steal the truck’s contents. Common scams include faked accidents or other drivers pointing to the truck as if there is a flat tire or open door. Educate your drivers on correct procedures should this happen en route.

Trucks Keep the Country Running. Keep them Safe!

Trucking is the backbone of what keeps our country running. It’s up to commercial business owners like you to keep it safe from thieves. With these tips, your drivers can feel safer on the road, and you can have greater peace of mind knowing you can meet your professional obligations without criminals  standing in the way.