Cargo theft can happen anywhere, anytime, and it impacts carriers, shippers, manufacturers, and consumers. In addition to disrupting the nation’s supply chains, these thefts can drive up costs for businesses and consumers, including insurance premiums, transportation expenses, and retail prices.
Rarely the act of a single individual, cargo theft operations are often run by organized crime groups that put time and effort into identifying, casing, and then targeting specific commodities and the trucks, warehouses, and distribution centers that send or receive those goods. After they steal entire trucks or swipe what they want from pallets or loads, they might resell the goods online, to unsuspecting smaller retailers, or on the black market.
Dallas, TX, is one regional hub that has been seeing a rise in cargo crimes. But just because you might be carrying freight into or out of the area doesn’t mean you’re destined to be a victim of cargo theft.
Being proactive and prepared are key as you protect yourself and the freight you haul. This is especially critical, notes JJ Coughlin, chairman of the Southwest Transportation Security Council (SWTSC), as you enter known cargo theft hot spots, such as the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. “Understanding the risks that exist and avoiding the known theft havens in those areas can make for a trouble-free commute,” he advises.
In addition to being alert and cognizant of activities and people around you—on the road, at truck stops, at warehouses—it’s important to get involved with local law enforcement, regional taskforces, and security groups. Joining these councils and coalitions helps create a united front against thieves. The more carriers that are involved, the more awareness, communication, and collaboration there will be to identify risks and needs to improve security in our industry.
“Following information from groups like the SWTSC, and other regional councils and cargo theft information sources, can give transportation groups the awareness they need to avoid those trouble areas,” said Coughlin.