Prepare for increased cargo theft activity over Independence Day weekend

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, June 29, 2020: 

Cargo theft activity expected to increase over Independence Day weekend
Cargo theft recording firms SensiGuard and CargoNet have released warnings to truck drivers and fleets to be prepared for increased cargo theft activity during the extended Independence Day weekend.

CargoNet has recorded 130 cargo theft incidents during the Independence Day holiday period in the last five years. (CargoNet image)CargoNet has recorded 130 cargo theft incidents during the Independence Day holiday period in the last five years. (CargoNet image)

SensiGuard says that with July 4 falling on Saturday, many shippers and receivers will be closed either Friday and/or Monday in observance of the holiday, which could result in longer stage times and lower security staffing.

In the July 4 holiday periods from 2015-2019, SensiGuard recorded 2.9 thefts per day across the country with an average loss value of $215,130, which is a theft rate 39% higher and a loss value 43% higher than the rest of the year. Arkansas (+219%), North Carolina (+147%), Texas (+49%), Ontario (+72%), and Tennessee (+91%) all had significantly higher theft rates during the holiday weekend than throughout the year.

CargoNet’s data shows 130 cargo theft events in 27 different states from July 1 through July 7 during the last five years, with the most in Texas, California and Florida.

SensiGuard offers the following recommendations for carriers and drivers to protect against cargo theft:

  • Communication between drivers and shippers needs to be firmly established and regularly maintained during hauls.
  • Truck stops, highway rest areas and distribution centers are frequent targets for thieves. Make sure drivers are stopping in locations that are as secure as possible, such as those with controlled access, adequate lighting, video surveillance and more.
  • If cargo must be left unattended for any period of time, it should be as secure as possible. Theft-resistant locking/sealing mechanisms for tractors, trailers and cargo compartments; disabling technology for the trucks; and parking vehicles and/or cargo compartments in a way that makes access as difficult as possible are all things worthy of strong consideration.
  • Use tracking technology, such as GPS monitoring, if at all possible.

CargoNet suggests avoiding leaving cargo unattended in high-theft areas such as Los Angeles, Dallas–Fort Worth, Chicago, Atlanta, NYC Metro and Miami.

“Should truckers need to leave their cargo unattended, they should consider parking in high-security locations with active security services, secure fences and high-visibility lighting,” CargoNet adds.

Love’s makes donation to support military families
Love’s Travel Stops is donating at least $125,000 to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit that provides food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, travel and transportation, moving assistance, essential home items and rent-free transitional housing for wounded veterans and their families.

Truck drivers and other Love’s customers can increase that donation with the purchase of a special edition Operation Homefront/Love’s 24-ounce mug for $7.99. The mugs can be purchased at any Love’s Travel Stop beginning July 1 while supplies last. For each mug purchased, Love’s will donate an additional $2 to Operation Homefront.

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on our veterans, service members and their families,” said retired Brig. Gen. Robert Thomas, chief operating officer of Operation Homefront. “We are grateful to our friends at Love’s Travel Stops who have joined Operation Homefront to serve America’s military families at a time when they need our support more than ever.”

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