Cargo thefts from U.S. freight haulers declined in the beginning of 2013 from late last year, but the problem still troubles truckers across the country.
Between February and April, there were 176 cargo thefts, according to logistics security services provider FreightWatch International. On average, thieves stole $120,990 worth of freight.
What Freight is at Risk
The most targeted states were Texas and Florida. Together they accounted for 31 percent of all the cargo theft incidents in the country. The most commonly stolen items were food and drinks, electronics, metals and pharmaceuticals.
Cargo thefts can be extremely costly and can severely damage freight haulers’ ability to do business. Here are a few tips to avoid becoming a victim:
Avoid unsecured parking areas. According to FreightWatch, 75 percent of all cargo theft incidents occurred at these types of locations.
Do not discuss the content of your freight with strangers, at truck stops or over the CB Radio. Your friends and colleagues are listening, but thieves may be listening, too.
Try to drive more than 200 miles from your freight’s origin before stopping, so long as hours of service rules allow. Most cargo thefts occur within a short distance of where you picked up your freight.
Vary your routes. Cargo hijackers like predictability in victims.
Try to only stop at reputable truck stops where there are other people around.
And importantly, do not try to protect your cargo in the event of theft or hijacking. The freight in your truck is not worth your life. It is far better to remember any identifying characteristics of a cargo thief that you can and later report the incident to police.