Fleet companies are losing a higher volume of valuable merchandise despite fewer reported cargo thefts, according to FreightWatch International. This new trend of sophisticated cargo theft strategies are being used by thieves to lower risks and take better control of their planned crimes.
The company reported a total of 194 cargo thefts throughout the United States between April and June of this year, with the average cargo theft valued at over $164,000. Compared to 2012, the value of the cargo thefts are up 27 percent despite a 12 percent decrease in the volume of crimes.
Thieves are straying from traditional thefts and instead using more intricate methods to reduce their overall risk of getting caught. Now fleet companies must be aware of, and fight back against, fictitious pickups, identity theft and fraudulent carriers. Enhancements in GPS tracking technology has provided fleet companies with a solution to safeguard their assets.
The quick job version of these growing crimes is the fictitious pickup, in which a thief will impersonate a legitimate carrier to get the desired cargo. Often times, the thieves will contact a shipper and notify that they will be arriving early in hopes of picking up the cargo. They will sign off on the paperwork and simply drive off with the haul before the legitimate driver shows up.
Another tactic becoming more prevalent is the use of identity theft. In this scenario, a thief will use an actual truck carrier’s name to arrange a pickup for a customer, and simply vanishing with the cargo load.
However, the most strategic of the newest trends is the fraudulent carrier method. Thieves will set up the appearance of a trucking operation before contracting a range of companies to haul cargo loads. They then fake a trucking issue to form their own alibi, all while the cargo is “stolen.”
Combating Cargo Thefts
In order to fight back against these thefts, companies must form strong relationships with their shippers, carriers and logistics assistance. Companies are made vulnerable when they don’t have strong protocol at every level. Ensure that procedures are in place to verify drivers and companies that are hauling valuable cargo.
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