The long weekend is here! You’re probably on your way back home, excited to spend some time off the road. While you’re busy planning your Canada Day or Independance Day long weekends, cargo thieves are busy planning their next heist. SensiGuard, formerly known as FreightWatch, has issued a warning to drivers and fleets about the elevated cargo theft risk this weekend.
Long Weekend Cargo Theft Trends
According to SensiGuard, there has been a rise in cargo theft incidents during the holiday long weekends. According to data from Travelers Insurance, on holiday weekends cargo theft jumps as high as 40%. Thieves have more time to target unattended cargo and make away with the goods. In advance of the recession, the most popular items to steal and resell were electronics; however, since the recession hit, food and beverages have been the big targets as they are untraceable.
Cargo Thefts Are Increasing
Cargo theft is becoming a growing concern for the transportation industry. Not only are these thefts increasing on holidays and long weekends, they’re increasing on an annual basis across the board.
CargoNet reported nearly 200 cargo thefts occurred across the United States and Canada in the first quarter of 2017 - in Q1 of 2017. So, what can you do to keep yourself and your cargo safe? Check out these tips!
Tips for Keeping Your Cargo Safe
- Keep Your Cargo Moving
Don’t leave your trailer unattended for long periods of time. The longer you let your cargo sit, the higher the risk of cargo theft becomes. This gives thieves the opportunity to watch for trends in traffic around your trailer and plan for the best time to steal it. Confirm receivers’ hours for the holiday weekend to make sure they match up with the scheduled delivery times.
- Park Strategically
This is one of the easiest ways to deter cargo theft. When parking your trailer, look for ways to make it difficult to open the doors. You can back the doors up against a building, solid fence, or even another truck, making virtually impossible to open the doors. That’s not to say that a thief wouldn’t cut into the trailer itself...but it does make it that much harder for them.
Parking in well-lit high traffic areas is also important. Don’t leave your trailer in an empty parking lot, behind a structure that blocks visibility, or in any low traffic area. Focus on parking in a well lit, high traffic area near open businesses, restaurants, service stations, etc. Keep an eye out for security cameras - parking where a thief can see the camera is a good deterrent.
- Lock Your Doors
Another easy one - lock the doors on your trailer. Always use a professional-grade lock to secure your doors. There are a lot of ‘high-tech’ options available to help you now including satellite-controlled locking pins and tracking programs.
- Keep An Eye Out
Being aware of your surroundings is a key rule of the road to ensure you’re protected and you arrive at your destination safety with your cargo. Always watch your surroundings for suspicious activities, being followed, etc.
- Watch What You Say
Try not to share too much information about what you’re hauling in your trailer. Oversharing can set you up as a target for theft. If you’re being targeted, thieves will monitor your radio and social media channels in an attempt to locate you.
- Avoid High Crime Areas/Hot Spot
Before heading out on the road, do your research. Know where you’re going, plan where you’re going to park if you need to stop, and ask other drivers about their experiences
in that location. Avoiding high crime areas or hot spots can keep you out of trouble.
- Know Who You’re Working With
Lastly, it’s important for you to know who you’re working with. Make sure you’re working with reputable companies that you can trust.
These are just a few tips to help you protect yourself and your cargo. Following them will help you ensure that you and your cargo arrive at your destination safely...so that you can enjoy some well-deserved time off this weekend!
How BigRoad Can Help
An important part of cargo safety is pre-planning your trip. Using tools like the BigRoad Mobile App and Web App can help you make sure you have enough time to get where you need to go! Request a demo and see how easy compliance can be with us!
This post was originally published May 27, 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy