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Just a Squirrel Trying to Get a Nut: Your Freight & Cargo Theft | Semi Truck Repair

We’ve talked about freight theft before here on the blog. We’ve crafted clever infographics demonstrating the prevalence of such thefts and also touched on the expansive reach of some of the theivers that were caught. (No “theivers” is not a word. Yes I’m using it anyway.)

Recent statistics published by TruckingInfo.com show that although freight theft from 2015 versus 2014 dropped 6%, since the U.S. reports over 60 thefts a month on average, FreightWatch still considers us “high” on its risk scale. (High is the second highest risk level available to be ranked at.)

We’ve also mentioned that if you take a look at FreightWatch’s heat map (shown below) the area that many of the fleets we serve are either headquartered or have yards in – are some of the hotter areas on the map. Go figure, right?

cargo theft heat map

Heat map showing cargo theft concentration via Freight Watch International

Anyway, we’re not going to preach in this post as we have in posts past about the importance of monitoring, tracking, and securing your freight. If you don’t already think that’s important, and the stats mentioned above didn’t sway you at all in that direction…. there’s not much else to say to you besides… well….

Just let us know how much they got ya for when it does actually happen to you.

Which leads us right up to the point of this post: If you don’t think it will happen to you, it probably will.

This morning as I was scrolling through my feedly account, checking out industry news and views, a Transport Topics article jumped at me: “Shellshocked by Nut Case: Ring of Thieves in CA Proves Tough to Crack.” (Hat tip, by the way to Geoffrey Mohan of the LA Times, for the headline. A little long but well crafted. I likes.)

The subject matter for the article was the continued theft of NUTS in California. I hit the caps lock on that in lieu of repeating myself. But, Lord help me, I’m going to repeat it anyway: Organized criminals are now going after legumes. Another scary thought? They’re using legitimate trucking companies to do so. Common practices are now to either produce false paperwork to appear as a licensed business, then hiring an actual trucking company, who then takes the load to another specified location – none the wiser. Or alternately, thieves are falsifying documents to appear as a legit trucking company ready to move your freight.

Gone are the days where thefts were predominantly reported  of “theft attractive” freight. Sure electronics, perfumes, or any other merchandise that is easily resold will remain targeted. But now with fleet owners becoming more diligent about GPS monitoring their trailers, or at the very least, locking their dropped trailers in secure yards, the “lower hanging fruit” for these thieves is that freight that “no one would ever steal.” Which, I would venture to guess, you’ve got a driver or two currently moving or have moved in the past week. Am I right?

Still think it won’t happen to you?

Long story short: Securing your cargo is no longer the only thing you need to do to CYA.

Make sure you are taking the necessary steps to check that the businesses involved in each of your loads are above board before your transfer freight or payment.

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