Cargo theft in the logistics industry is a big problem, with millions of tonnes worth of goods being stolen from freight ships, aeroplanes and vehicles on the road every year.
One of the biggest targets for cargo thieves is electronic goods – computers, mobile phones, televisions and other expensive products that make a profit and are easy to sell on.
Other targets of cargo theft include food, pharmaceuticals and clothing which can be sold on the black market, or repackaged and slipped back into the supply chain to be sent on to another destination.
The money made from cargo theft is often funnelled back into larger organised crime syndicates, which funds drug trafficking, guns, and has even been linked to terrorist organisations.
Idle trucks are often the easiest targets for criminals, but there are a few ways to deter would-be thieves from your cargo.
- Never leave a cargo truck unattended
The majority of cargo theft occurs when a supply truck is left unattended for a length of time, usually because the driver has had to stop for a break. Highlighting the dangers of leaving trucks unattended to your distribution staff can help them be aware of the danger.
- Use good quality padlocks on the doors
Common sense, but truck doors are often badly secured and easy to break into. Using a proper, industrial strength padlock can really help to reduce the number of break-ins and thus the amount of goods stolen from a vehicle.
- Invest in GPS tracking
Should one of your supply trucks be stolen, then having an on-board track and trace device can help to slow down or even stop a stolen vehicle, which police can then attempt to recover. Although it’s fairly expensive to install per truck (especially if you have a large fleet) it can quickly offset the costs relating to stolen goods.
A large percentage of cargo theft is never reported, which makes it hard to estimate the true amount of thefts occurring in the country. Encouraging drivers to report thefts can help the warehouse and distribution industry to spot weaknesses in the supply chain and try to fix them.