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Counterattacking cargo theft

Counterattacking cargo theft

A news release from Schneider National advised that the Green Bay, WI-based truckload carrier and logistics provider reduced cargo theft occurrences involving its “Big Orange” trailers in each of the last seven years. In fact, Schneider has cut full TL thefts within its fleet by a whopping 91% since 2006.

“Ours is a three-prong approach,” noted Walt Fountain (seen at right), Schneider’s director of safety and enterprise security. “We address expectations during onboarding; we regularly communicate the locations and types of thefts that are occurring; and we incorporate cargo theft preventable measures into our quarterly training sessions.”

I’ve talked to Fountain several times about cargo theft over last few years – you can read some of those stories here and here for more details – and the some of the good news on this front, at least, is that the transportation industry overall seems to be making major strides in its effort to deter cargo theft activity.

For example, CargoNet noted in its 2013 Annual U.S. Cargo Theft Report earlier this year that the overall number of stolen freight incidents that occurred throughout the U.S. decreased by 9% – the first time the industry has seen a decrease since CargoNet began tracking data in 2009.

Yet the battle is far from over.

Take for instance a new cargo theft tactic: the deceptive pickup, which accounted for 64 thefts, or 6.4% of the total, in 2013 according to FreightWatch International.  Compared with 2011, when this particular “M.O.” first started to emerge with any regularity in the U.S., deceptive pickups increased by more than 60%.

Trucking companies are also being cautioned to be more observant of “weekend thefts” which are popping up more frequently of late.

Indeed, as I noted in this story cargo thieves are always testing out new approaches and attack vulnerabilities caused by bad weather and other atypical situations. Thus trucking will continue to grapple with cargo thieves for some time to come.

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