Cargo theft is the theft of goods or property from commercial

Cargo theft is the theft of goods or property from commercial shippers or freight

carriers. It’s a serious problem in the USA, costing shippers and trucking companies an

estimated $30 billion annually, with an average of 6Theft Report 2018, the

most commonly stolen commodity is food and beverage (Supply Chain Quarterly, 2019).

Furth shipment (Supply Chain Quarterly,

2019). This paper describes and analyzes threats to cargo and ongoing plus proposed

solutions for food trucking companies in the U.S. To be included are benchmark practices

from other countries too.

Cargo Threats to Food Trucking Companies

Insider Risks

A company’s own employees are common threats to cargo security. “In particular we

would wish to emphasize The Insider Threat,” TT Club Claims Executive Mike Yarwood

said in a release. “As security measures become more sophisticated and widespread in

practice, criminal organizations are increasingly recruiting employees of targeted companies

to gain data, cargo information, delivery routes, and destinations and access to IT systems.

Due diligence in recruiting and managing staff is paramount.

In general, full or part-time

salaried staff are less of a security risk than sub-contractors.”

Opportunity Crime

Another report indicates that thieves also seize opportunities as they arrive, indicating

lack of security across the delivery chain as offering windows of risks to food trucking


companies. “Cargo thieves are opportunists, and these statistics indicate where, when and

how they are likely to strike and the type of goods they are likely to target,” notes Barry

Tarnef, a marine loss control specialist for Chubb Marine Underwriters.

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Cost of Cargo Theft Loss

The research found that road transport was consistently the most common modality

involved in theft (ahead of buildings and trains), but there were significant differences in the

median value of the cargo affected. This ranged from just under $19,000 in Asia to around

$60,000 in both Europe and North America, and to a high of $77,000 in South America.

Modes of Cargo Theft

There was also wide variation in the methods used in various regions. As a global

average, the most common approach was “slash and grab” at 26 percent of cases, with “theft

from vehicle” at 19 percent and “hijacking” at 17 percent. But in North and South America,

hijacking was the most common method at 37 percent and 52 percent respectively. In

contrast, theft in Asia most often involved “theft from a facility” at 43 percent, followed

distantly by hijacking at 19 percent.

Another report explains the different thefts. Truck stops and highway rest areas are

the most targeted locations for cargo thefts, Chubb’s research indicates, as these places

account for more than one-third (39%) of all incidents, followed by modal yards (managed by

trucking companies, railroads or ocean carriers) at 27% of all thefts, and unsecured locations

(drop lots, motel, restaurant and mall parking lots), which account for 25%. Other cargo

thefts and disappearances include warehouse burglaries (6%) and hijackings (3%).

In its 2013 Annual U.S. Cargo Theft Report, CargoNet reported on a number of

notable trends, including the following:


$99 million in cargo theft losses in about 1,100 separate cases were reported.

Nearly 80% of cargo thefts occurred in just eight states – California, Texas, Georgia,

Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan and Tennessee. According to one NBC network

affiliate in California, cargo theft happens twice as often in that state than anywhere else, to

the tune of $390 million in 2011 and 2012 alone. Cargo theft incidents within Georgia

jumped 32%.

Best Practices to Combat Cargo Theft

According to Tarnef, businesses can take the following seven actions to help prevent

cargo thefts:

1) Thoroughly screen prospective employees. Some cargo security experts maintain that a

high percentage of cargo thefts involve inside information or complicity.

2) Carefully select transportation partners and intermediaries. Remember that these

companies have care, custody and control of goods once they leave your premises until

they reach their destination.

3) Establish a security culture within your company. Provide security training for

employees, and educate truck drivers in hijack awareness and prevention.

4) Factor in security when determining shipment routing. Cargo thieves often “case”

known shipping points (plants, warehouses and distribution centers) and follow trucks as

they depart, waiting for the drivers to stop so that they can pounce on the loads. Drivers

should not be allowed to stop in the “red zone” (the first 200 miles/4 hours from their

starting point) as well as known hot spots.

5) Incorporate counter surveillance into the duties of security guards, and have guards

patrol away from perimeters.


6) Take advantage of technology. Vehicle and shipment tracking, vehicle immobilization

and advanced, high-technology security seals are now available at lower cost. Here is an

example of RFID technology in use.

Denmark’s Evotec chose Idesco RFID readers to complete their cargo securing system

they had designed for transport companies’ vehicles. Evotec’s system does more than

merely preventing cargo theft. Drivers also feel more secure when delivering because

hijack risks are also reduced. This is because cargo is robustly secured when drivers leave

vehicles behind.

Danish cargo companies had been struggling with regular delivery cargo thefts. Drivers

did not feel secure when delivering and financial losses were growing. Evotec decided to

develop a novel vehicle security solution for cargo companies. As part of their solution,

Evotec selected Idesco 8 CD 2.0 DESFire readers for deployment on delivery vehicles.

Idesco readers have since been installed on several hundred Danish cargo trucks and


Bo Sch?nning, Evotec Aps CEO, described the subsequent cooperation of Idesco with his

company, “We got great assistance in choosing the correct solution for our system”. In

addition to coded readers, Evotec ApS also subscribed to Idesco’s convenient Security

Key Management Service for ensure compatibility with every vehicle’s readers. Since

DESFire demands readers and transponders be encoded with matching security keys,

Idesco’s Security Key Management service saved Evotec extensive time and resources,

freeing them to focus exclusively on installations for their customers’ vehicles without

worrying about managing DESFire keys themselves. “We feel safe when Idesco handles

this data for our customers”, says Sch?nning.

The cargo drivers of Evotec’s customers are assigned vehicle specific transponders to

carry, which open the cargo space when presented to the reader guarding it. For

increased security, the driver cabin locks automatically when the cargo space unlocks.


Additionally, cargo doors automatically lock when they close and will remain locked

when the vehicle’s engine is running. The system works equally well in vehicles equipped

with liftgates. Opening the vehicle’s driver cabin with the ignition key doesn’t affect its

cargo space: it remains continuously locked. If needed, a vehicle’s cargo space could be

opened remotely via fleet management software. If a transponder is stolen, a vehicle’s

readers can be reprogrammed to not recognize the transponders.

Vehicles are also equipped with GPS transmitters that update fleet software with vehicle

locations and routes. The fleet software’s online tracking and route reporting also

provides cargo companies a powerful fuel control ability that can reduce fleet costs.

One more example is a logistics company which mployed a host of innovative solutions

like sophisticated on-board “geofencing” systems that divert drivers from known high-

risk areas, and moving high-value loads using driver teams, which creates velocity in the

supply chain and ensures freight is continually moving and far less susceptible to theft.

“We’re guided by the rule, ‘freight at rest is freight at risk’,” Walt Fountain, CPP, CCSP,

Director of Safety and Enterprise Security, tells My Purchasing Center. Fountain came to

the trucking concern in 2006 after serving in the U.S. Army intelligence service for more

than two decades.

7) Conduct periodic security audits. Operations and personnel change, and criminals are

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Cargo theft is the theft of goods or property from commercial. (2019, Dec 18). Retrieved from

Cargo theft is the theft of goods or property from commercial
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