“We’ve heard it from our broker partners – cargo theft is noticeably up. It’s pretty high on the radar,” states Wes Kornowske, VP of Operations at Paper Transport. According to Transport Topics, the transportation sector experienced an estimated 20% jump in reported cargo thefts amid changing criminal tactics in 2022. This article will help you understand what cargo theft is and outline risks and preventable actions to take against cargo theft as a shipper.
What Is Cargo Theft?
The FBI emphasizes that cargo theft is defined as “the criminal taking of any cargo including, but not limited to, goods, chattels, money, or baggage that constitutes, in whole or in part, a commercial shipment of freight moving in commerce, from any pipeline system, railroad car, motor truck, or other vehicle, or from any tank or storage facility …”
VP of Logistics at Paper Transport, Dave Roscich, said, “Shippers who have been targeted are going to feel it quickly. Organized crime knows the lanes and facilities to target, and there’s no doubt they know what they are looking for.”
How To Prevent Cargo Theft?
To protect your supply chain from cargo theft, Paper Transport recommends shippers avoid having cargo sitting in drop yards or truck stops overnight.
“On the safety side, we need to make sure we are getting products from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible. When a product sits, it is at risk,” highlights Keith Stelzer, VP of Safety and Recruiting at Paper Transport. “The longer a product can sit at its manufacture point and distribution point before it hits roadway or a drop yard, the better off you are.”
“Reduce the number of relays at drop yards. Especially in certain metropolitan areas where we know there is an element of crime. That is the most fundamental change; to not have trailers sit in drop yards for a day or two,” stresses Kornowske.
Paper Transport also emphasizes that drivers can only do so much when they are on the road.
“Drivers can be prepared with king pin locks, gladhand lock, and be backed up to a door. That can become unfeasible for a driver while they are out on the road because he may or may not have the facility to do that. Drivers are always exposed on the road,” Kornowske continues.
Paper Transport highlights that flexibility in run time is going to be key in the battle against cargo theft.
“What I would want to talk to shippers about is run time. If we’ve got a 400-mile run, let’s deliver it in run time or deliver it first thing in the morning. Let’s not take a load on Thursday that will stop on Saturday and restart on Monday. The driver is a human being. They are going to go home, not sit with the truck. Let’s be flexible in our shipping schedules to reduce the down time in those loads,” Roscich iterates.
“The front end of the freight runs is where we can help our shippers and work together as carriers to be better and shut out any obstacles,” shares Keith Stelzer. Paper Transport’s Power Only drop-trailer solution dedicated helps shippers have flexible load and pickup times at their distribution centers, thus minimizing risk to cargo. To learn more about our Power-Only solution visit our Power-Only page.