The value of cargo hauled in a semi-truck can range in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. For thieves, a trailer full of cargo is a soft target compared to a store with its security systems and police surveillance. For example, a trailer parked overnight in a dark and unsecured area gives a thief plenty of time to break inside and remove the cargo, or perhaps haul away the trailer with their own tractor.
While the theft methods vary, the fact remains that the carrier lost valuable cargo under their care and will likely suffer the loss of future business with a valued customer as well as a damaged reputation. Preventing this from happening to you requires making security a top priority in your commercial or owner operator trucking business. Here are four security suggestions:
Minimize Cargo Exposure to Regional Theft Hotspots
Plan your routes to avoid stopping in areas with high cargo theft rates. Note that many thieves case areas where cargo is picked up such as warehouses and distribution centers, and will follow trucks leaving these places. Drivers should completely fuel up before arriving at their pickup points, and drive 200 miles nonstop afterwards to “shake off” thieves following their rigs.
Keep Your Tractors and Trailers Well Maintained
A semi-truck breakdown forces unplanned stops and delays in unsafe places and situations. In the introduction above, you may have asked why anyone with any kind of experience would park their trailer in a dark and unsecured area overnight. A breakdown may give you no choice in the matter. Keep up with your maintenance and always do a thorough pre-trip inspection every day.
Park in Well Lit Areas With Security Cameras
Avoid remote and darkly lit areas of a truck stop. The convenience and relative quiet of these spots aren’t worth the risk. In addition, park your trailer so that a wall, light post, or other object blocks your trailer doors from being opened.
A simple trailer door padlock won’t cut it these days. Use geofencing technology to keep track of your trailers. Use devices that alert you to unauthorized trailer access that can remotely immobilize your vehicles. Although not high-tech, use locks that prevent trailer brake release, and kingpin locks for preventing thieves from hooking up your trailers to their tractors.
While cargo theft prevention is important, it’s essential that you protect your commercial or owner operator business against cargo theft or damage by ensuring you have enough cargo insurance coverage. To learn more about this, contact us at J.E.B. Insurance Services. We provide cargo insurance in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa & Nebraska.