Holiday weekends — like the upcoming one for Labor Day — are of notoriously high risk for truckers as organized cargo theft rings are extremely active when others take time off.
That’s the latest warning from the SensiGuard Supply Chain Intelligence Center. During the three-day Labor day weekends in 2014-2018, there were 2.4 thefts per day, which is a 14% higher rate than throughout the year, according to SensiGuard.
Targeted commodities of Labor Day crooks are tobacco, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, home and garden supplies, and electronics.
SensiGuard says cargo thieves attempt to exploit cargo at rest. It suggests carriers and drivers confirm receivers’ hours of operation for the holiday weekend and plan for secure parking locations in the event a shipment will have to stop for an extended period of time.
They also suggest:
- Communication between drivers and shippers needs to be firmly established and regularly maintained during shipments over these periods. That communication should include driver(s) instruction as to what types of behavior are required and what is not permissible.
- Truck stops, highway rest areas and distribution centers are frequent targets for cargo thieves, especially during holiday periods. For that reason, any location where cargo would either intentionally (or unintentionally) stop — even for brief periods — should be as secure as possible.
- Things to consider when selecting a secure area/lot are controlled access, adequate lighting, congestion, any type of either personal or video surveillance, how long the conveyance will be left unattended, as well as past intelligence of localized cargo theft activity.
- If a cargo must be left unattended for any period of time it should be made as secure as possible. Theft-resistant locking/sealing mechanisms for tractors, trailers and cargo compartments; disabling technology for the vehicle’s power units or trailer movements; parking vehicles and/or cargo compartments in a fashion which make access as difficult as possible – should be considered.
- Any tracking technology, such as GPS monitoring, should be used to its fullest extent possible.