Steps to take to reduce holiday cargo theft

Updated Dec 26, 2015
How secure is the cargo on your truck?

Statistics show there is an increased risk of that cargo theft during the holiday season.

Tom Mann of TrakLok International offers these tips to reduce the risk of having cargo stolen:

Loads at rest

  • Use secure lots that provide sufficient barriers to prevent theft or unauthorized access. (For example, the compound should have a chain link fence of 9-gauge material at least 8 feet high and topped with barbed wire and it should be properly anchored.)
  • Close truck doors before pulling into the lot so that surveillance efforts cannot see what has been loaded on to trailers.
  • Employ the use of security patrols in lots where high value cargo is staged for transport.
  • Use security equipment to secure trailers while they are being staged.  King pin locks, landing gear locks, and most important are electronic security locks with active alarm systems installed on cargo doors.

 On the road

  • Ensure that a “Red Zone” of at least 250 miles is implemented.  (The Red Zone is the distance wherein the driver does not stop after a pick-up.)  Drivers should be rested, trucks fueled and all personal needs taken care prior to a pick-up so the red zone can be effectively implemented.
  • Report of any “out of the normal” occurrences while loading the trailer or while a shipment is in transit.  Drivers should notify dispatch during extended stops at areas such as truck stops and rest areas.
  • Drivers and warehouse workers should not discuss any details regarding loads with anyone; specifically drop locations, routes and contents.
  • Consider a no drop policy keeping the trailer married to the tractor so that the tractor and trailer can be secured.
  • Use effective access control equipment to maintain integrity while the shipment is in transit.  This includes electronically monitored locks that include a tamper detection alarm system and GPS tracking affixed to the trailer doors.

 Additional security

  • For high value shipments, employ multiple layers of security to dissuade or delay cargo thieves.
  • Implement regular security briefings to train drivers on surveillance techniques and protocols to follow if drivers detect suspicious activities.
  • Employ a tracking system that includes active and passive alarm systems.
  • Utilize a rugged locking system that will notify the driver and security personnel if there are any attempts to open the trailer door.