Cargo theft poses a significant risk to the integrity of the supply chain and this risk is dramatically enhanced over the long Memorial Day weekend. It is well documented that cargo theft rates spike over long holiday weekends, and preventative measures should be taken to protect your cargo.
This spike in cargo theft can be attributed to goods being left unattended and a lack of adequate security while goods are stored in trucks or in warehouses over the long weekend. Memorial Day is also a time leading into summer when there is an uptick in consumer spending and companies are building inventory and shipping higher volumes of goods. With the increase in e-commerce spending that has been a trend for the past several years and the increasing prevalence of both targeted and non-targeted cargo theft, the potential risk for strategic and opportunistic cargo theft is amplified. Many facilities may close early on Friday, May 27, and there will be extended periods of time when facilities are not operating, and goods are not moving. As we have seen recently with the theft and looting of trains backlogged from the LA/Long Beach port facilities, cargo at rest is cargo at risk.
Companies should follow recognized industry-best security practices to protect their goods over the long holiday weekend. These best practices include clear communication and instructions to drivers and shippers, increased shipment visibility through active tracking procedures, and a well-established security plan for goods in warehouse storage and during transit. Practices such as leaving fully loaded vehicles unattended overnight, parking in insecure lots, failing to track shipments actively, and not having a formal security plan in place will dramatically increase the risk of goods being stolen.
- Verify the authenticity of all shipments shipped and received during this period.
- Ensure proper security screening and background checks on all drivers.
- Clear instructions to drivers and maintain lines of communication.
- Beware of fictitious pickups and untrusted/unknown sub-contracted truckers.
- No stopping or only stopping in pre-approved secure lots equipped with controlled access, adequate lighting, actively monitored surveillance, and perimeter fencing.
- Avoid leaving goods in a truck/vehicle unattended.
- Use of high-security locks, alarms, disabling technology for vehicle’s power, parking in a secure manner to block access to goods.
- Use of covert GPS tracking devices embedded within shipment (tracking devices to be actively monitored and be equipped with low battery and loss of signal alarms).
- Inspect and maintain/repair any deficiency to the facility.
- Ensure that security and surveillance programs and systems are in place and operational.
- Respond to all security alerts. Do not treat any as false alarms.
- Have an updated emergency contact list and response plan.
- Arrange a response plan with local law enforcement to patrol the area.
Alerts When They Matter Most
Falvey Foresight provides quarterly insights on the latest risks affecting the cargo industry. As an extension of the Falvey Foresight newsletter, we occasionally share close to real-time notifications regarding current events affecting the cargo market. You're able to manage the types of alerts you receive, by telling us your preferred preferences. Subscribe to Falvey Foresight and our Alerts today!