Last Minute Tips To Avoid Cargo Theft on Labor Day Weekend

Long weekends are traditionally peak times for cargo theft, and Labor Day weekend is no different. According to FreightWatch International, cargo thefts on the Labor Day weekends between 2010 and 2014 had an average value of $232,955. Research shows that cargo theft is one of the top 5 causes of freight claims.

The best security measures are well thought out and planned in advance. Even so, here are some last minute security tips that you can implement right now, and avoid becoming a victim of cargo theft this weekend.

Don’t Pre-Load The Trailers

Since many drivers are taking time off this weekend, pre-loading the truck is a popular time-saving strategy. Trucks may be loaded on Friday and left in the lot, ready to go for Tuesday morning. But a fully loaded, unattended trailer is the exact opportunity that cargo thieves are looking for. As convenient as this may be, don’t allow drivers or warehouse staff to load the truck until the load is ready to be hauled away.

Get All Eyes and Ears on Board

With warehouse staff also taking vacation, your staff will likely be a little thin this weekend. Of course, cargo thieves know this, and it’s one of the key reasons that they target more aggressively on long weekends. Emphasize to your staff that this weekend holds a high risk for cargo theft, and ensure that everyone keeps an extra eye out for suspicious behaviour. To keep staff motivated to remain vigilant, offer a cash bonus to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest.

Beware of Early Pickups

One strategy cargo thieves employ is known as the “fictitious pickup”. The cargo thief will call you, posing as a driver. They will say that they will be early, and request that the load is ready for their early pickup. A few hours later, the real driver arrives, but by then the cargo thieves are long gone. If a driver calls to say that they will be early, do some digging before handing over the load. Call your broker or carrier to confirm the early arrival. Ask the carrier for the license plate of the driver that they’re sending, and make sure it matches with the driver who called. And make sure your staff is aware of this cargo theft trick as well.


For more information on cargo theft, read our post on how to prevent cargo theft due to fraud.