A long holiday weekend means more than just extra time to spend with family and friends. For cargo thieves, it’s an opportune time to pilfer some unsuspecting trucker’s load and livelihood.
Since 2010, the transportation industry has experienced a 27 percent increase in thefts per day during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to logistics security firm FreightWatch International. The company issued a bulletin urging those who work in the supply chain to exercise extra caution when it comes to load security over the long weekend.
“Organized theft rings are always active and recognize holiday weekends can cause shipments to be unattended for prolonged periods of time,” the bulletin states.
During the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend, there were 18 reported cargo theft incidents totaling more than $1.48 million in reported losses, including one fictitious pickup in Michigan, the company stated.
Doug Morris, OOIDA security operations director, said drivers should make every effort to deliver their loads to their destinations, before heading home to park for the weekend. If delivery isn’t feasible, he suggested drivers try to find a secure location to park the vehicle, rather than leaving a loaded truck sitting somewhere unattended.
“This weekend is probably one of the worst weekends for cargo theft,” he said. “Thieves know drivers are hauling goods for the holiday season. If you have a load, try and get it unloaded as soon as possible. If you’re going to have it for a couple days, park in a secured location.”
Morris said leaving a loaded rig unattended at a truck stop for several days can be dangerous, as thieves may be monitoring the premises and looking for unoccupied trucks and trailers.
FreightWatch International recommends logistics and security professionals ensure security protocols are up to date, and in line with industry best practices for in-transit and warehouse operations. Both will be heavily targeted by cargo thieves over the weekend, using traditional and non-traditional theft methods.
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