SensiGuard offers tips to lessen cargo theft risk over Memorial Day weekend

May 21, 2020

Land Line Staff


Even though many travel plans may be curtailed this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, holiday weekends like Memorial Day still make tempting targets for cargo thieves.

The SensiGuard Supply Chain Intelligence Center issued an alert this week urging truckers to be on their guard with their cargo this weekend. On previous Memorial Day weekends, the company says that it has recorded elevated theft rates up to 71% higher – with average values up to 292% higher – than nonholiday weekends.

The Center recommends taking safety precautions such as confirming a receiver’s hours of operation for the holiday weekend and planning for secure parking locations in case a shipment has to be stopped for an extended period of time.

Truck stops, highway rest areas and distribution centers are frequent targets for cargo thieves, and the company says to consider things like controlled access, adequate lighting and surveillance if you have to leave cargo unattended for a time. In addition, they also recommend theft-resistant locking mechanisms and GPS tracking for trailers, if it is available.

The company’s suggested safety practices for the transportation sector include:

  • Verify the authenticity of all shipment related activity – particularly any entity that has been engaged to either move or store a shipment. Driver and business verification, prior to releasing any shipment, is important.
  • Communication between drivers and shippers needs to be firmly established and regularly maintained during shipments. That communication should include driver instruction as to what types of behavior are required and what is not permissible.
  • Truck stops, highway rest areas and distribution centers are frequent targets for cargo thieves. For that reason, any location where cargo would either intentionally or unintentionally come to rest — even for brief periods of time — should be as secure as possible.
  • Things to consider when selecting a secure area or lot are controlled access, adequate lighting, congestion, any type of personal or video surveillance, how long the conveyance will be left unattended, and past intelligence of localized cargo theft activity.
  • If a cargo conveyance must be left unattended for any period of time, it should be made as secure as possible. Theft-resistant locking/sealing mechanisms for tractors, trailers and cargo compartments; disabling technology for the vehicle’s power units or trailer movements; parking vehicles and/or cargo compartments in a fashion that make access as difficult as possible – are all things worthy of strong consideration.
  • If any tracking technology, such as GPS monitoring, that is available for deployment should be used to its fullest extent possible. That would include tracking technology on the power unit, its cargo area (if separate), and within the cargo itself.

Notable cargo thefts over holidays 2014-18:

  • 2015, California, theft of a full truckload of computers, $400,000.
  • 2015, New Jersey, theft of a full truckload of cosmetics, $2.5 million.
  • 2016, California, fictitious pickup of personal care items, $88,788.
  • 2017, Kentucky, fictitious pickup of computers, $584,000.
  • 2017, Tennessee, pilferage of mixed electronics, $135,000.
  • 2018, Kentucky, theft of a full truckload of apparel, $5.7 million.
  • 2018, Kentucky, theft of a full truckload of electronics, $1 million.
  • 2019, California, pilferage of medical supplies, $624,000.