When shipping products, nothing is more important than ensuring that they are safe—especially during the busy holiday shipping months. This is because cargo is frequently left unattended for longer periods of time over lengthy holiday weekends, and theft rises during these times.
Recent statistics from CargoNet prove that cargo theft has been on the increase. As a matter of fact, the USA and Canada saw a loss of $19 million due to cargo theft. Putting into consideration the rising cost of diesel and other transportation costs, cargo theft is on the rise.
While any cargo is subject to theft, household goods and electronic products are the most targeted commodities because they can be sold on the black market. Among the same products, there have also been spikes in the theft of building materials, industrial products, designer clothing, and shoes.
Why is cargo theft increasing?
Before we can even discuss how we can prevent cargo theft, we have to dig deeper and understand why there has been an alarming rise in cargo theft. Here are some factors to look at:
● Lack of security measures
Many businesses fail to take the necessary measures to prevent cargo theft during the holidays. Inadequate locks and security seals, leaving trailers unattended for extended periods of time, or failing to check fuel levels in vehicles are all examples of this.
● Increased shipments due to holiday purchases
As the holiday season approaches, there are more parcels and shipments to be handled than ever before. This can provide an opportunity for crooks to prey on inattentive drivers or overburdened warehouses.
● More travelers are on the road
There is an increase in traffic around the holidays, which might provide greater possibilities for criminals to target cargo vans and trucks. Overloaded trucks are also more likely to be hijacked.
● Commodity goods have increased in price
Prices of commodities have increased as inflation affects the economy. Due to the increased demand, items like jewelry and electronics are becoming more desirable targets for criminals wanting to make a quick profit.
With so much at stake, it is of the essence to take the necessary steps to protect your cargo and minimize losses during the holiday season. Here is a list of steps you can take when in charge of a customer’s shipments to protect their financial statements and keep their business in the future:
How to prepare for and prevent it
● Vet your freight carriers
Simply put, your freight is always at risk when in transit. That is why any organization’s supply chain must start with finding and setting up a reliable freight carrier. The vetting process is so vital because not only are you able to ensure that your carrier network fits your shipper’s needs, but your carriers also care about cargo just as much as you do and are effectively equipped to haul it. Working with trusted carriers not only eliminates theft risks but also ensures your cargo is in safe hands.
● Screen and monitor your employees
Because a high number of freight thieves are assisted by a victimized business employee, consider conducting background checks and other screenings of potential and current workers to reduce the chance of theft.
● Create a strategic plan
Come up with a strategic plan that outlines your cargo security policies, detailing who is responsible for what and when. If you have a clear plan of action, you can better prepare for and respond to any potential threats. A strategic plan for shipping security should include:
- Designated routes for drivers
- Procedures for unloading and loading cargo
- Secure locks, seals, and tracking devices to monitor shipments
- Training for drivers on security procedures
● Invest in the best security measures
Shipping theft may occur both on and off the road. If you have freight kept in warehouses, you must verify that the facility is secure. This includes access control and surveillance cameras to ensure that any suspicious conduct is instantly reported and addressed.
Other security measures to think of are RFID or GPS tracking and security seals designed to ensure that shipments are secure at all times.
● Increase visibility with technology
When it comes to preventing cargo theft, technology may be a great tool. With the correct tools and processes in place, you can improve visibility and gain better control over your shipments.
Real-time tracking, temperature sensors, and automatic notifications may all help you stay alert and respond promptly to any unexpected changes.
● Cover your cargo with freight shipping insurance
While it’s a common misconception that shipments are automatically insured by the carrier through their limits of liability, carrier liability may not actually protect the full value of stolen shipments. That’s why we recommend opting for additional insurance for your important, high-value shipments.
This holiday season, work with a freight shipping team you can trust
If you have the correct strategy in place, your cargo will be safe and secure throughout the holiday season. At Zignify Global Product Sourcing Company we are committed to keeping your cargo safe and secure. If you are looking for a company that can provide shipping and freight services that are safe and reliable, we work with reputable logistics providers who will offer proper protection. Contact us today and let’s get started!