Each year, cargo theft costs the United States an estimated $15 to $30 billion dollars. Even though this is a broad range, it represents a large amount of loss. Unfortunately, this range is difficult to narrow down, and there are reasons for this—including a fully voluntary reporting system and an under-reporting issue—which make it difficult to determine the exact level of theft or how much of it ties directly to cargo theft on trucks. Many carriers choose not to report cargo theft for various reasons, one possibility being that they don’t want their potential customers to feel that it isn’t safe to ship their wares with them.
As an example of the difficulty that comes in determining the exact cost of cargo theft, two different reports on the YOY change from 2018 to 2019 found opposite results: one finding an increase in theft and the other finding a decrease. However, CargoNet reported that in 2017, $145 million in theft was recorded through their security network alone, not to mention those thefts unreported or reported via other networks. Nevertheless, through this uncertainty, there are a few facts that are agreed upon:
In the U.S., most thefts:
- occur while vehicles are parked, rather than hijacked,
- happen between Friday and Sunday,
- affect food & beverage and electronics shipments, as these are the top two categories targeted for theft.
Additionally, when it comes to which mode of transportation is targeted, trucks are the prime target over 85% of the time. Considering all of this, it is key to any fleet, especially those in these main categories, to ensure their cargo is protected while in transit.
Purkeys’ SafeFreight can help provide this protection. The SafeFrieght has a locking mechanism next to the rear door of the trailer. The driver can easily turn a key switch to arm or disarm the alarm. If the rear door is opened without disarming the lock, a loud alarm sounds, alerting the driver of a potential threat and scaring the would-be thief away. In addition, the alarm will also sound if the driver tries to drive away without properly locking the rear door. These precautions ensure that cargo is protected from both theft and oversight.
The SafeFreight is key for any fleet looking to ensure safe cargo delivery, particularly if drivers need to leave the vehicle to make deliveries or pickups (i.e. paper shredding, alcohol delivery, tobacco delivery, etc.).