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U.S. e-commerce revenue is about $423.3 billion and is steadily climbing. Whether it’s full truckload, less-than-truckload (LTL), or parcel, carriers are being forced to adjust to changes in the retail industry. But despite these changes, one risk has remained the same, or perhaps has even gotten worse: cargo theft. Unfortunately, many freight brokers don’t take the initiative to start trying to prevent cargo theft until after they’ve become a victim. But by taking some small steps, you can improve efficiency and security and minimize the risk of a cargo theft occurrence. Here’s part one of our freight broker’s guide to preventing cargo theft.

Minimize Time Cargo Is Left Unattended
A huge portion of cargo thefts occur when the cargo is left completely unattended, whether they’re full truckload shipments or LTL shipments. This occurs because truck drivers often leave their trucks unattended for several hours at a time. Start targeting cargo theft by seeing what you can do to reduce the time the cargo is left unattended. For example, consider enforcing a policy that prevents drivers from leaving their trucks alone for more than a certain amount of time during transit.

Change Routes Periodically
It should come as no surprise that cargo thieves can be incredibly patient and almost predatory in the ways they survey their targets. They have no problem investing huge amounts of time into surveillance and planning in hopes of getting their chance to steal. Always keep them guessing by changing up routes and lanes during transit. Otherwise, they could potentially memorize the schedule and even find out when the cargo is left unattended.

Look For Trends
Finally, it’s important to be on the lookout for any cargo theft trends. These can include timing trends, as well as frequency, seasonal fluctuations, and high-risk locations. Being aware of these trends can help you gauge the safest routes and schedules.

According to data from CargoNet and FreightWatch International, in the first three quarters of 2016, approximately 615 cargo-theft incidents were recorded. Taking advantage of these tips is the key to minimizing the chances of cargo theft occurrences. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we’ll discuss even more advanced tactics to consider implementing in order to protect your valuable cargo and prevent theft. For more information about transportation broker software, contact 3PL Systems.

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