Hauling food and beverage? Your truck is a magnet for thieves
It doesn’t matter where you are or how much of it you’re hauling, among the most attractive types of cargo for thieves is food and beverage. Cargo thefts cost U.S. businesses upwards of $30 billion every year, according to the FBI. Many essential commodities, including food and drink, are primary targets. This activity can lead to public health issues and also raise prices in grocery stores. All things considered, it’s a problem that needs to be addressed for both truck drivers and citizens. Food and beverage companies need to take this threat seriously.
Why steal food and beverage?
There’s a simple reason why this type of cargo is stolen: it’s nearly impossible to track. Once the packaging is removed, there are no bar codes or any other sort of identification system for food. There are no serial numbers on fruit or RFID tags in meats. It’s impossible to trace any food and beverage that hits the online or street market. What’s more is the evidence is destroyed as soon as it’s consumed, which is often happens quickly. The window for recovering any stolen food or beverage is tiny.
One more factor that’s made it easy for thieves to steal food and drink is they have begun targeting large freight hubs. Any geographic location that has become a big distribution center where cargo is delivered or held and many short-haul routes begin, or end can be a juicy mark. It’s why some areas have become hot spots for cargo theft.
Cargo theft prevention
Educating truck drivers to guard against theft is the best protection you can have against cargo being stolen. It goes beyond the use of locks. A driver must understand the mind of a criminal. Here are some tips for preventing cargo theft.
- Be alert when leaving, surveillance often happens within a mile of your starting point
- Do not discuss your cargo on open channels or with people you don’t know
- Leave your vehicle in a secure parking lot or truck stop, if not have somebody watch it
- Never leave your truck running with the keys in the ignition
- Lock cargo doors with padlocks
- Use an engine kill switch
- Try to avoid being boxed in, while on the road
- Become familiar with local law enforcement agencies
Stay alert and safe
Don’t forget there may be an element of danger to the driver when it comes to cargo theft. If you ever notice something suspicious, contact the authorities and alert drivers in the area. If you have become a victim of theft, report it immediately. Provide accurate and up-to-date information on your rig to have the best chance of recovering the vehicle and cargo. Being alert, cautious and candid can help you deliver your cargo and stay safe.