Cargo theft continues to remain a growing problem, with the number of incidents reported last year increasing 17%, up 180 incidents from the previous year, as cited in CargoNet’s 2011 theft report. These statistics demonstrate that standard security methods (including padlocks and seals) are becoming inadequate in today’s society where thieves are becoming more familiar with these methods, thus, finding it easier to steal freight in as little as 60 seconds.
But many shippers refuse to acknowledge the increasing problem of cargo theft.
Ed Crowell, President of the Georgia Motor Trucking Association (GMTA), spoke on the issue stating, “We for years on the industry side were silent. If someone had a theft event, they didn’t want anybody to know about it. They didn’t want shippers to know about it. They didn’t want motor carriers to know about it for competitive reasons. Sometimes they didn’t want their insurance company to know about it and they would just eat the loss. That may have served a short-term purpose, but it also made it much easier for criminals to get away with their crimes.” 1
These crimes become worse over the holiday weekend, increasing 28% according to FreightWatch, as cargo becomes a ‘sitting duck’ for thieves. As the saying goes, cargo at rest is cargo at risk.
So was the case this past Labor Day weekend in Georgia, ranked fifth in the nation when it comes to cargo theft.
On Sunday, September 2nd, a 53’ tractor trailer transporting 52 pallets of Folgers coffee, valued at $139,000, was stolen in Albany. But that’s not all. This same weekend in Atlanta, while a driver slept in his cab Sunday night at a travel center, thieves stole two pallets of hydromorphone-filled injectors valued at $170,000. The driver alerted police of the dangerous pharmaceutical theft (hydromorphone is 6-8 times more powerful than morphine and can be deadly if mixed with alcohol). 1
Fortunately, the GMTA had recently formed an alliance with CargoNet, a group dedicated to theft prevention and recovery, last August, which would the allow all cargo thefts reported to the GMTA to “be transmitted directly to CargoNet’s 24-hour operations center, which will assist in recovery efforts by working in tandem with law enforcement agencies on a local, regional, and national level.” 2
This alliance allowed the GBI to locate and recover the stolen pharmaceutical shipment before the shipment could cause any serious dangers.
CargoNet offers regionalized alerts, verifiability, recovery during transit, recovery months later, and more. You can learn more about the services the group provides at http://cargonet.com/.
Road Scholar Transport is proud to be a member of CargoNet, increasing our security measures and continuously pushing the performance envelope with new products and technologies with an emphasis on brand protection and on time performance.
Check out Road Scholar University for a presentation given by Road Scholar President Jim Barrett and Walt Beadling, Managing Partner of the Cargo Security Alliance, for a brief overview of the Cargo Security Alliance and a review of current threats to cargo security, the regulatory environment, and related trends by attending Cargo Security 101. Participants will be taken through strategies and best practices for risk mitigation, including a discussion of the importance of collaboration, speed and visibility to supply chain security, combined with multi-layered security protocols that establish, maintain and prove a secure chain of custody.
Want to learn more? Attend Cargo Security 201, where you will learn about the trends, threats, and best practices in secure transport of chemicals and other dangerous materials.
Would you prefer to ship with a company who is part of CargoNet? Do you feel that standard methods of security are adequate enough? List your comments below.