Cargo Theft

The state of cargo security: How fleets can respond to the industry’s 5 most pressing problems

March 24, 2022
Cargo theft is on the rise. Supply chain shortages throughout the U.S. have increased due to theft. Taking the necessary precautions can help you save millions in losses. Learn how you can respond to the industry’s 5 most pressing problems.

$30 billion of cargo is stolen every year. As large as that number is, it only represents a fraction of cargo theft’s true cost. Every time a transportation company loses a shipment, its costs multiply. Not only will they lose client trust, their profits will also be hit by additional customer support, expedited replacement deliveries, and higher insurance rates.

While cargo theft’s impacts are always severe, the strategies thieves use to steal shipments are always changing. In order to maintain rigorous cargo security, transportation professionals need to know what to look out for and how to respond to it.

What are the top 5 problems and how do you solve them?

Problem 1: Thieves are adopting innovative new technologies.

While many thieves are simple opportunists, professional thieves are always on the lookout for new technologies to make their jobs easier.

For decades, shipping companies have trusted the container seal. If shipments arrive with an unbroken seal, then they think their cargo must be safe. But recently, thieves have learned how to use 3D printing technologies to break container seals, get into containers, and make it look like they were never there.

Solution: Respond to innovative thieves with innovative technology.

FleetUp’s trailer, container, and reefer tracker does what the traditional container seal can’t – ensure that management is alerted the moment theft is attempted.

Problem 2: 71% - 87% of global cargo theft happens when cargo is in transit

Cargo is most likely to be stolen while it’s on the move. No matter how secure warehouses might be, it won’t matter when thieves strike at gas stations, truck stops, and other vulnerable locations.

Solution: Monitor the doors of trailers, containers, and reefers.

Only one container tracker monitors doors in real time – FleetUp’s. No matter where thieves try to break in, instant SMS or email alerts are always sent to security personnel.

Problem 3: Less than 3% of stolen cargo is recovered

Every year, the FBI reports cargo theft and recovery rates. The most recent year for which it has released data is 2019. It found that only 2.8% of cargo stolen that year was ever recovered. Once thieves have stolen goods, it’s unlikely that owners will ever see those goods again.

Solution: Recover cargo with hidden tracking devices.

FleetUp’s smallest tracking device can be placed where thieves won’t think to look for it – inside shipments, tucked in corners, wrapped in bubble wrap, or anywhere else. It continues updating its location long after thieves have taken their loot, so owners and police can work to bring goods home.

Problem 4: Smuggling is a growing problem for international shippers

Shippers who don’t cross borders worry about criminals taking goods out of containers. International shippers, on the other hand, have to worry about criminals putting contraband inside containers.

When authorities find smuggled goods, shipments are held and shippers have to drop everything to respond to investigations. Even worse, when smuggled goods aren’t discovered, human traffickers and drug dealers cause untold suffering. This year, the deadly drug fentanyl is at the root of a health crisis – there was a 4,000% increase in fentanyl seizures across the US-Mexico border.

Solution: Stop smugglers from entering containers.

In order to plant illegal goods, smugglers need to enter and exit containers without being noticed. FleetUp’s trailer, container, and reefer tracker is the only device that stops that from happening, notifying businesses the moment anyone tries to get through trailer doors.

Problem 5: Even high security organizations are vulnerable to insider theft

It’s one thing to stop outsiders from getting into trailers – but what if the thief is your truck driver or a partner at a port? Supply Chain Dive reports that “insider threat” is a growing cause of cargo theft.

It would be impossible to perform background checks on every person involved in moving a shipment from point A to point B. As long as criminals have connections to transportation organizations, cargo will be at risk.

Solution: Prevent insider theft with remote locking devices.

FleetUp’s trailer, container, and reefer tracker can be locked and unlocked remotely. For especially valuable shipments, shippers can assign the lock to a single trusted manager, who can unlock a container via any desktop device. That way, businesses can be sure that their container is only opened when it absolutely has to be.

Learn more at FleetUp.

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