Transporting precious goods across the country comes with its own set of challenges, and cargo theft is one of them. As a truck driver, you’re responsible for safeguarding your cargo, but with thieves looking for any opportunity to strike, it’s more important than ever to stay vigilant. Don’t let cargo theft ruin your journey, make sure you’re taking every precaution against being another victim.
Stay in Touch with Dispatch
Maintaining regular communication with your dispatch team is crucial to preventing cargo theft. Keep them informed of your location and how long you plan on being there. Ask them for updates on cargo theft in your area and avoid high-risk areas as much as possible. According to our last article, hotspots that stood out were GA and CA specifically around major intermodal hubs. If you happen to work around these major ports, be sure you’re extra cautious.
Keep Your Truck Moving
It’s no surprise that cargo that sits still is at a higher risk of theft. Before loading or unloading your truck, make sure to survey your surroundings for suspicious activity. As per Travelers Insurance, “Cargo thieves are looking for whatever they can steal and sell quickly.” To avoid leaving your truck unattended, if you need to step away, try parking your truck in a way that makes it difficult to access the doors.
The most important thing you can do to prevent cargo theft is to stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Thieves thrive on distractions, if you so much as give the appearance that you know exactly when, where and how you’re supposed to be you’ll greatly decrease your chances of being a target. Beyond that, there’s no doubt you know these roads better than anyone. If you see something off or out of place while out on the road or while stopped at a truck stop or rest area, take action to protect yourself and your cargo. Trust your gut, it’s the best tool you’ve got when you’re out on the road by yourself. The next time you feel this way, don’t ignore it! Trust your instincts and act accordingly, this can include anything from simply moving your truck to a more secure location to actually calling law enforcement.
Park in Safe Areas
That gut instinct we just mentioned? Well, when you need to stop and rest, be sure to utilize it. You know the basics, choose a well-lit and decently trafficked area, especially at night. Scope out your surroundings and keep a watch for suspicious activity, such as someone following your truck. If you notice someone suspicious near your truck, call the police and notify your dispatch. If possible, you may want to consider moving your truck.
Get Some Extra Eyes
Cameras can be a valuable tool for truck drivers. Not only can they help protect you in the event of an accident, they can also be used to prevent cargo theft or assist in catching thieves. Think of all the crimes that cameras have helped solve, trucks are no different! Cameras provide invaluable evidence for law enforcement and can mean the difference in law enforcement being able to identify suspects and track stolen cargo.
Before You Hit The Road
As a truck driver, your cargo is your responsibility. With cargo theft on the rise, it’s important to take extra precautions to protect yourself and your freight. By following these five tips, you can reduce the risk of cargo theft and ensure a safe journey for yourself and your cargo. If you have any additional advice you’ve learned during your time on the road, be sure to let us know in the comments below. Don’t let cargo theft ruin your trip, stay safe and secure on the road.
Stay Safe Out There!
– The Optimum Logistic Team