Freight Insights General Logistics and Supply Chain Technology Series

5 Tips For Keeping Your Freight Safe

Freightos CEO, Zvi Schreiber, recently dubbed 2016 as the “year that the freight industry goes online.”

Some freight services, like rate quoting, have now reached the tipping point. On Freightos, for instance, forwarders and shippers can create a freight quote in 30 seconds.

Other freight services have already passed the tipping point, fleet tracking, for instance, spearheaded by freight technology companies like Track Your Truck.

In this guest post, Track Your Truck‘s Robert J. Hall, offers five tips to trucking companies for keeping freight safe.

5 Tips For Keeping Your Freight Safe

How much money is your company spending on lost freight? One stolen trailer can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. Your job is to keep your freight safe — from the moment it hits your warehouse until the moment it is delivered to the customer. Yet, all too often, freight is left unattended or trailers are left vulnerable, inviting a potential thief to run off with your goods.

Here are some tips that will help protect you from these losses.

1. Do Careful Background Checks

Most freight theft is done as an inside job, according to Today’s Trucking. Those who have access to the freight are in a good position to snag something, or even take off with an entire load of cargo. The best way to protect your freight from this risk is to perform thorough background and criminal checks on drivers and any other employees who will have access to your freight.

2. Insist on Security Protocols

Provide drivers and freight handlers with training on proper security. From parking in well‐lit areas to locking the truck any time they step out of it, these must be followed at all times. Also, insist that drivers do not discuss what they are carrying and where they are heading when talking on the CB or using social media, and monitor various channels to ensure this is not happening.

Also, security measures need to extend to trailers. Make sure drivers and freight handlers always lock trailers. While locking a trailer may not prevent all types of theft, particularly if the thief knows what is inside and is highly motivated to take that particular type of freight, it can deter those who are just looking for a grab‐and‐run job.

3. Invest in GPS Asset Tracking

If a trailer is stolen, will you know where it was and where it is headed? Consider GPS‐based asset tracking systems to help with this. Asset tracking places a tracking device on important mobile assets, trailers or freight, so you have real‐time data about where assets are and where they’re heading.

Even if a thief disables the tracker, you can provide the last‐known coordinates to law enforcement professionals who are trying to help with recovering your stolen goods.

4. Consider Radio Frequency Identification

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is another technology that allows companies to keep tabs on where their assets are located. RFID uses radio waves to track assets through the assembly and distribution process. This can protect assets from being lost or stolen in the warehouse or while en route to the trucks for delivery.

5. Park Safely

What happens when you have to leave your loaded trailer in the yard Friday afternoon, because the company will not be available to take the goods until Monday morning? You are leaving your freight open to thieves. These types of delays may not be possible to avoid, but you need to be smart about it. Find a secure lot that is gated and has monitoring. Planning trips for your drivers to avoid waits, whenever possible, is another way to avoid this risk altogether. Unless they are specifically targeting the product you have, most thieves are looking for a quick, simple steal.

The key to protecting your freight is to throw as many barriers as possible at potential thieves. The more obstacles you put into place, the less likely you will lose some of your freight — meaning your company’s hard‐earned money will stay where it belongs.

Robert J. Hall is President of Track Your Truck, a leader in GPS truck tracking devices and software for small and midsized companies.