CargoNet holds a unique position among participants in the freight supply chain as a membership organization that, in the words of company Vice President Sal Marino, provides owner-operators and others with a “multilayered approach to cargo security,” one component of which for carriers is asset recovery – that means your truck and/or trailer.
While most owner-operators haven’t experienced a truck, trailer or cargo theft, the $50 annual owner-operator membership is a small price to pay for the additional layer of security and access to recovery resources the organization offers.
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Anyone who has experienced a theft may know what typically happens when it’s reported locally. “The officer will come out, they’ll ask some questions,” says Marino. “The driver will say, it’s a white trailer. And the officer: ‘Pick up your police report in 48 hours.’ That’s unfortunately often where it ends.”CargoNet, however, offers members a reporting service which ensures their theft info is distributed to a network of more than 125,000 officers in more than 9,000 jurisdictions around the country, including the several regional cargo theft task forces that exist.
“We’re streamlining communications from law enforcement and the victim,” Marino says. In the example above, “as a member they’d call up our 24/7 command center and give them the what, when and where. We distribute that through our law enforcement communication platform. Getting the right info to the right people in the right amount of time.”
Once or twice a month their tips lead to finding a “full tractor and trailer with cargo,” he adds. In addition, a top concern for any owner-operator, “we’re very good at getting assets [truck and/or trailer] back quickly. Once thieves heist the product – they often abandon the tractor.”
With the cargo, “what we do is collect details,” Marino says — any images and identifying SKUs if applicable, for instance — “and we upload them into our database. Say law enforcement stumbles over some suspect cargo – that officer contacts use with an SKU and match, match, match.” Eventually, an arrest could be made and the case closed.
Part of an owner-operator membership to CargoNet is dedicated to shipping and costs of the 12-by-12-inch “Protected by CargoNet” decal – think of it like an ADT or other home-security yard sign — that is intended to “go on the back of a tractor-trailer,” Marino says. “We have about 30,000 on the road today – not one of them has been attempted to have been breached.”
Access to media advisories, CargoNet alerts, webinars and etc., are likewise included. The alerts database is searchable by members as well. Marino was talking with a broker about membership benefits recently, he says, and showed her the alert search. “She says, ‘Can you put a phone number in?’ You can, and I did. Turned out it was used in five other fuel advance-scam identity thefts. ‘If you were a member,’ I said. ‘You would have known.’”