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Countdown to Black Friday: Are You an Easy Target for Cargo Theft?

Countdown to Black Friday: Are You an Easy Target for Cargo Theft?.TheRoad


With Black Friday on the horizon, consumer goods of all kinds are making their way from manufacturers to distribution centers and retail locations across the country. As shoppers count down the days until they can score deals on the hottest products, cargo thieves are counting on cashing in on opportunities to swipe unattended trailers and shipments.

The industry experiences more cargo theft incidents when there is a higher volume of consumer goods moving through the supply chain. Holiday weekends and the weeks leading up to the Black Friday retail shopping holiday are prime times for organized crime groups to target the trucks, warehouses, and distribution centers that send or receive those goods.

But while we are in the midst of a season notorious for a spike in cargo thefts, there are a few precautions you can take to protect your freight.

Remember that freight at rest is freight at risk. The more time freight spends sitting unattended, the likelier the chances are for truckload theft. Try to keep the amount freight that’s shipped out over weekends to a minimum, or work with your carriers to avoid prolonged stretches in drop yards. Be especially mindful in traditionally active cargo theft areas like Southern California, the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Miami, and Atlanta.

Identify vulnerabilities and don’t let your guard down. Dig into operational controls to understand which protective measures are in place at every point in the supply chain. Additionally, know that all “secure” drop yards are not created equal, so it’s important to verify and validate whenever possible. Is the drop yard gated? Guarded? Well-lit? Is it a shared space? You can also do a quick Google Earth search to see what those yards look like and to help determine if they meet your expectations and standards.

Leverage relationships with your third party logistics provider (3PL). Your representative should be engaging in proactive measures to keep your freight safe. Your rep can validate carriers; help them understand best practices to keep freight safe; and provide insight around your expectations, lanes, and supply chain.

To learn more about how cargo is targeted and what can be done about it, download this white paper.


Editor’s note: This post originally ran on Transportfolio. With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s important to keep cargo theft top of mind. Prepare yourself for the holiday season by tuning in to our Countdown to Black Friday series.

- Risk Manager, C.H. Robinson



Usually, Cargo is targeted during holidays or Weekends. Over US, 1479 incidents of cargo theft were reported in 2017, while United Kingdom and Germany logged 1533 and 1077 incidents respectively. 31% of incidents of cargo theft across the world last year involved skimming from the top. Usually thieves make note of the patterns you follow like lanes, time, halts and so on. Mostly it is noticed, the cargo’s are stolen when it is left unattended by drivers.

What you can do to mitigate the risk of Cargo Theft?
Eliminate unnecessary stops, keep cargo moving—cargo at rest is cargo at risk.
Always park in secure locations
Make sure that you always check if some unknown person is making note of your routes or timings and report the same to your manager or your nearby police station.
Last and most important, always use tracking devices for individual package monitoring.



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