Trucking cargo theft usually occurs with greater frequency over long weekends when trucks and facilities are unoccupied or minimally staffed. Specifically, the 2020 holiday season comes after a third quarter where thefts saw a 23-percent year-over-year rise from 2019, including 223 cargo thefts with an average loss of $151,452. All this loss, totaling nearly $34 million, costs the trucking companies, the suppliers, and the consumers substantially.
For this reason, trucking companies should plan to avoid having cargo in transit over a long weekend whenever possible, as theft increases during these periods. However, it is sometimes impossible to change scheduled shipments especially during the holidays. Fortunately, there are some best practices that trucking companies and truckers can take to minimize risk any time their cargo will be at rest and potentially exposed to criminal activity.
Keep Communication Open
Truckers should always maintain communication with dispatch while traveling through hot spot locations. If you have to stop in one of these locations, inform dispatch with the name and address of where you’re planning to take a break, along with any information about how long you intend to stay parked and how long you’re leaving your cargo unattended. This helps dispatch understand the situation and what they should know to relay to authorities if your cargo becomes stolen or tampered with.
Stay Updated with Trucking Insurance
Naturally, it’s essential to operate with trucking insurance to keep the truck and the driver safe. But does this coverage protect against theft? The answer is both yes and no.
In general, trucking coverage does have the capability of covering theft. However, it likely won’t provide coverage if the theft occurs while the vehicle is left unattended. This is especially true if truckers leave the vehicle unlocked. In this case, the insurance provider would likely reject the claim, and the trucker would be held responsible for the stolen goods and overall value.
Know your truck cargo insurance policy. Understand what the exclusions are and make sure you modify your operations to avoid uncovered situations. Check with your insurance agent in the event an unforeseen situation crops up to see if special coverage can be initiated.
Know Where to Avoid
Truckers should know where these theft hot spots are located and the times where theft usually takes place within these locations. California and Texas report high cargo theft typically throughout the weekend and evenings, so trucking professionals should be more aware when they’re passing through.
For better understanding, truckers can work with their dispatchers to learn about these high-theft locations and develop a strategy for when they’re driving through them. It’s always better to know what to do and what to avoid when going through a rough area.
Be Safe, Park Safe
Whenever you have to make a stop, make sure you park your truck in well-lit and secure areas with a fair amount of surveillance. Cargo thieves like to work in the dark and sneak up to steal cargo. With any site that is out of the way, dark, and not under security surveillance, the chances for theft naturally increase.
Truckers should be sure to only park in trusted locations they are familiar with or are trusted by word of mouth. Don’t park anywhere you don’t have to, or somewhere that doesn’t have proper security measures. It doesn’t matter if the next lot is miles away; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck, and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more.