Cargo theft is big business and happens everywhere throughout the supply chain – including on trucks, warehouses, terminals, and storage facilities. In 2021, there were 1,285 thefts reported with a total loss value of nearly $58 million in the U.S. and Canada, according to a report by Verisk’s CargoNet, which keeps track of cargo thefts. Data from CargoNet also shows cargo theft losses soared to $19 million in the first quarter of 2022 – a 73% increase over the same period in 2021.
The top targeted commodity stolen? You guessed it – electronics (computers and accessories) – followed by household goods and food.
California takes the lead in reported cargo thefts, followed by Texas and Florida.
Warehouses, Terminals Increasingly Targeted by Criminals
While cargo thefts continue to occur in transit and at truck stops, there has been a spike in thefts at warehouses and storage facilities, according to separate reports by Verisk and BSI Supply Chain Services and Solutions, a global provider of supply chain intelligence. The spike in part can be attributed to supply-chain congestion, where trailers are sitting idly at a terminal waiting to be picked up, or cargo is temporarily being stored at the warehouse before delivery.
Who is responsible for the theft of cargo? Your trucking firm, of course, is responsible for the loss if the theft occurred at the terminal or your warehouse. And, without the right insurance coverage, you would have to cover the loss out of pocket.
As we discussed in an earlier article, Motor Truck Cargo insurance won’t cover theft unless your premises location is added to the policy. You need to know your exposure at the terminal or warehouse and ensure your policy is written to address your risk. You also need to know the window in which coverage is available in the event of a loss and any policy exclusions. Go over all of these details with your insurance broker.
Help Stop Cargo Thefts
Beyond having coverage to step up in the event of cargo theft at your warehouse or terminal, nothing beats having robust security in place to help stop criminals in their tracks. What type of security should you make sure is in place? Here are some reminders:
- Implement layered security. This starts with your people. This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you run background checks on all drivers and new employees.
- Educate your staff on your security processes and protocols. And ensure everyone follows them.
- See if the processes and protocols work by performing some surprise checks. Fix what’s broken.
- Conduct regular internal audits, reviewing all records and looking for anything fishy.
- If possible, reduce cargo resting time at warehouses.
- Install special locks for the cargo and invest in a tracking system to keep tabs on it.
- Install security cameras or remote video surveillance at your location. Cameras can watch over the cargo, parking areas, trucks, and loading docks and inside the facility.
- Consider securing the perimeter of the warehouse with guards as an extra layer of deterrent.
Again, we can’t stress this enough: ensure your cargo is properly insured, whether in transit or at your warehouse or terminal.
About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is an insurance brokerage specializing in commercial truck insurance. We know this stuff and want to make sure you do too. Our clients appreciate our dedication to finding competitive rates and offering unparalleled service beyond excellent insurance options. They also value how our state-of-the-art automation provides lightning-fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more.