How much money have you lost to freight? One stolen consignment can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. Our job is to keep your freight safe — from the moment it leaves your warehouse until the moment it is delivered to the customer. Yet, all too often, freight is left unattended or trailers are left vulnerable, inviting a potential thief to run off with your goods.
Here are some tips that will help protect you from these losses.
1. Do Careful Background Checks
Most freight theft is done as an inside job. Those who have access to the freight are in a good position to snag something, or even take off with an entire load of cargo. The best way to protect your freight from this risk is to perform thorough background and criminal checks on drivers and any other employees who will have access to your freight.
2. Insist on Security Protocols
Provide drivers and freight handlers with training on proper security. From parking in well‐lit areas to locking the truck any time they step out of it, these must be followed at all times. Also, insist that drivers do not discuss what they are carrying and where they are heading when talking on the CB or using social media, and monitor various channels to ensure this is not happening.
Also, security measures need to extend to trailers. Make sure drivers and freight handlers always lock trailers. While locking a trailer may not prevent all types of theft, particularly if the thief knows what is inside and is highly motivated to take that particular type of freight, it can deter those who are just looking for a grab‐and‐run job.
3. Invest in GPS Asset Tracking
If a trailer is stolen, will you know where it was and where it is headed? Consider GPS‐based asset tracking systems to help with this. Asset tracking places a tracking device on important mobile assets, trailers or freight, so you have real‐time data about where assets are and where they’re heading.
Even if a thief disables the tracker, you can provide the last‐known coordinates to law enforcement professionals who are trying to help with recovering your stolen goods.
4. Consider Radio Frequency Identification
Radio frequency identification (RFID) is another technology that allows companies to keep tabs on where their assets are located. RFID uses radio waves to track assets through the assembly and distribution process. This can protect assets from being lost or stolen in the warehouse or while en route to the trucks for delivery.
5. Park Safely
What happens when you have to leave your loaded trailer in the yard Friday afternoon, because the company will not be available to take the goods until Monday morning? You are leaving your freight open to thieves. These types of delays may not be possible to avoid, but you need to be smart about it. Find a secure lot that is gated and has monitoring. Planning trips for your drivers to avoid waits, whenever possible, is another way to avoid this risk altogether. Unless they are specifically targeting the product you have, most thieves are looking for a quick, simple steal.
The key to protecting your freight is to throw as many barriers as possible at potential thieves. The more obstacles you put into place, the less likely you will lose some of your freight — meaning your company’s hard‐earned money will stay where it belongs.