Cargo theft occurs year round, but the threat rises during peak season as the volume of goods being shipped increases. Many companies bring in additional trucks, trailers and/or portable storage units to handle the additional cargo. During peak season, merchandise such as electronics, household goods and food and beverages that can be quickly resold are targeted. Through proper planning, fleets can protect the extra freight and equipment utilized during this time. Below is your guide to a secure peak season:
Flatbed carriers haul a wide variety of cargo. Fleets protecting that cargo from theft require different solutions than those hauling goods in an enclosed trailer. While there are no rear or side doors to protect, flatbed fleets do have some of the same security vulnerabilities, including unattended trucks and dropped trailers. All heavy duty trailers require various layers of security to protect them – physical hardware such as padlocks and other locking devices are one of these layers.
Secure unattended truck: Unattended trucks can be protected by parking in a well-lit location where it is more difficult for a thief to steal a tractor unseen. According to CargoNet’s 2021 Supply Chain Risk Trends Analysis, the top targeted location for theft was truck stops. The ENFORCER® Air Cuff® Lock is a proven security device to protect unattended tractors. Constructed of high impact resistant polycarbonate material, the lock completely covers and locks the dash mounted air valve levers to prevent the truck and trailer brakes from being released. This lock is an additional layer of security for trucks that are unoccupied, parked or idle. The unit is portable and easy to install with no drilling or permanent installation parts required. An ABLOY® heavy duty lock cylinder is included. The cylinder keyway face spins freely to prevent drill bits from penetrating the lock. Air Cuff Lock #3000 fits most trucks. The Air Cuff Lock #3030 has an angled back to fit the dashboard on International ProStar trucks and other models. This is an affordable security device to thwart flatbed theft. Consider outfitting your fleet with this lock to prevent cargo theft and a loss of equipment that is currently difficult to replace.
Secure dropped flatbed trailer: Whether your flatbed trailer is being dropped at a jobsite or another location, make sure it is protected from an unauthorized hook up. There are a variety of lock options to protect a dropped flatbed trailer such as the King Pin Lock, Landing Gear Lock and Glad Hand Lock. The ENFORCER King Pin Lock is made of solid cast steel alloy. This heavy duty options covers and locks the king pin to prevent unauthorized trailer hook ups. An ABLOY® high security lock cylinder is integrated into the lock. A second option is the Landing Gear Lock. The Landing Gear lock is a heavy gauge high carbon steel lock box that covers and locks the landing gear handle. When in the locked position, the handle cannot raise or lower the landing gear. The third option is the Glad Hand Lock. The Glad Hand Lock (also known as the Trailer Air Brake Lock) is designed to completely cover the glad hand mounting bolts to secure the trailer brake lines from unauthorized tampering. This prevents flatbed trailers from being moved. The lock installs quickly and easily with a high security push button locking cylinder. The Glad Hand Lock can also be used for lockout/tagout purposes as well.
Secure chains, headache racks and sides boxes: In addition to locking your tractors and trailers, be sure to utilize high security padlocks where necessary. Secure chains, headache racks and side boxes with a heavy duty ABLOY padlock. The ENFORCER ABLOY lineup of padlocks includes various sizes including a shrouded option. Each padlock uses a series of disc tumblers that function like the tumblers in a bank safe. Only the correct key turned 90 degrees will align the discs and gates. The key can only be removed by reversing it to a stop that automatically rescrambles the discs. These heavy duty padlocks are designed for all weather and rugged conditions.
Unattended trucks and dropped flatbed trailers can be targeted by thieves. Flatbed trailers are often carrying valuable construction equipment or materials. These items are attractive to thieves because they can be resold easily as demand is high and supply low. Conduct security training and coaching for your drivers to make sure they know how to properly protect their trucks and flatbed trailers against this threat. Adding an additional layer of security can protect your equipment and reputation.
Theft of a tractor is always bad news for a company. Insurance claims, time off the road and reputation issues for failing to deliver a customer’s load are all negative outcomes. Add in the current high truck demand and manufacturing constraints and it may be quite a while before your equipment can be replaced, doing further financial damage to your business. According to CargoNet’s 2021 Supply Chain Risk Trends Analysis 1,285 supply chain risk events occurred across the United States and Canada in 2021. Fifty-five percent of events involved theft of at least one heavy commercial motor vehicle, like a semi-tractor, semi-trailer, or intermodal chassis or container. So how can you protect your equipment? Below are 5 tips:
“My drivers won’t use the lock.” As a lock company, this is a common grievance we hear from security professionals. There are many tractor-trailers on the road and parked at rest areas and truck stops with unsecured cargo doors. Often cargo thieves are looking for a trailer they can break into quickly. If they see a lock installed, they are more likely to move on to the next trailer that isn't locked and can be opened in seconds. How can trucking companies ensure drivers have and use a high quality lock? The following are tactics we’ve seen implemented successfully at fleets in the past.
Provide the lock. If it is within your company’s security budget, consider providing locks to your drivers. You can create a lock program that fits your needs. We provide end-to-end security kits that include ABLOY® high security padlocks, king pin locks and Air Cuff ® Locks. Air Cuff ® Locks completely cover and lock the dash mounted air valve levers to prevent the truck and trailer brakes from being released. This lock is an additional layer of security for trucks that are unoccupied, parked or idle. Locks can be keyed different, alike by kit or into a master system for fleet key control.
Make it company policy. Security is a priority for many top fleets. Many trucking companies have corporate policies that require drivers to lock their trailers while in transit and when parked. Our Adjustable Lock or hasp and padlock system are heavy duty options.
Delivery companies often require that trucks be locked when drivers are making a drop off or pick up. If your fleet includes delivery vehicles, consider the Roll Up Door Lock which automatically locks when the box truck or trailer door is closed. Often times this lock is referred to as a “slam lock”. The slam lock is designed specifically to eliminate driver’s time and effort needed to secure the trailer with a padlock and hasp system.
Others trucking companies require verification that a lock is in place before leaving the warehouse or distribution center. Some fleets require their drivers to show proof of purchase of a heavy duty lock while others provide locks for new hires. Whichever channel you decide for your company, be sure your policy is clear and drivers understand what is expected of them. Make sure your policy is enforceable and the consequences of noncompliance are clear.
Incentivize lock use. Consider creating a reward program for drivers that incentivizes them to use trailer and truck locks. Use drivers in your fleet to recognize when a lock is being used correctly by another one of your company’s drivers. Have them send a photo of the lock on the trailer to the company as well as the license plate or some other trailer identifier. Ensure drivers only take photos when legal and safe to do so. Get creative with prizes such as sending the driver caught using the lock correctly a gift card as recognition or conducting a monthly raffle for entries.
Educate importance of security. Use new driver training to educate on the importance of using a heavy duty lock to secure equipment. Consider providing security devices in the classroom so drivers can learn to use them correctly. Remind drivers of the importance of using a lock anytime there is cargo inside the trailer and when it is empty. Currently, it is difficult to replace stolen equipment due to a shortage of materials and labor. Stolen equipment may mean a driver is out of work for an extended period of time while a replacement is sourced.
Awareness of personal repercussions for driver. While drivers may complain about the inconvenience of having to lock their truck and trailers, the inconvenience of a theft is much greater. There can be financial losses to the drivers themselves as a result of a theft. There is the lost revenue from the current load and future loads. They also risk harming their reputation. Drivers are often interviewed by police after a theft. The police are tasked with gathering evidence to decide if the driver was part of the theft or not.
The last step in securing your fleet’s trucks and trailers is often dependent on your drivers taking the time to secure the locks. Encourage or require use of a high security locking device using the tactics outlined above. Drivers and companies ultimately benefit when security is prioritized.
Myth: Law enforcement is available to help with cargo theft.
Unfortunately cargo theft is a low priority for many police departments. It is viewed and dealt with like a property crime. It does not receive the attention that other theft, such as smash and grabs, do. Other types of crime take precedence over theft of freight. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), cargo theft is estimated to cost the U.S. $15 billion to $30 billion a year, though the true numbers may be even higher, since some businesses are hesitant to report thefts due to reputation risk. Trucking companies may be able to get recovery assistance from their insurance company, industry organizations or a private investigator.
Myth: Cargo theft is a crime of opportunity.
Cargo theft rings are increasingly more organized. Theft rings are very knowledgeable about what freight is moving where and who is moving it. They conduct surveillance on warehouses, ports, distribution centers and truck stops. They know what distributors and receivers are in certain areas. Current supply chain issues have led to trailers and containers piling up at ports and warehouses for longer durations. Cargo is also being left to sit in less secure locations. This is spurring cargo thefts nationwide as thieves have taken notice.
Cargo theft has also grown in sophistication. Thieves will falsify paperwork and other information to gain access to trucks and trailers.
Thieves do take advantage when they see an opportunity to quickly steal or pilferage a trailer though. Pilferage is when part of a shipment, rather than the entire shipment, is stolen. Cargo thieves have learned that breaking into a parked trailer and removing some goods is less risky than stealing the entire trailer. Often times pilferage is difficult to detect quickly, putting time and space between the thief and the crime. While this is viewed as low risk to the thief, trucking companies are faced with economic loss from the stolen products, insurance claims and damaged customer relationships. Pilferage can happen to a delivery truck during a busy delivery schedule. A driver may skip locking a padlock and hasp system when they go inside to make a delivery, resulting in unlocked doors. The ENFORCER Roll Up Door Lock is a heavy duty solution to this threat. The Roll Up Door Lock automatically locks when the box truck is closed. Often times this lock is referred to as a “slam lock”. When the door is closed, the interior jaws spring open to close around the carbon steel pins in the base that is welded to the floor.
Another security option for roll up doors that locks automatically is the ENFORCER® Trailer Lock Box #8055 which is permanently installed on the trailer door. The Lock Box replaces the standard trailer latch. The end of the trailer handle is inserted in the latching lock on the #8055. Lock is spring loaded to automatically lock when the handle goes into the lock mechanism. Provides protection without the hassle of having to put on and take off a padlock at multiple stops. Both ENFORCER locks include a high security ABLOY® lock cylinder that can be keyed individually or to a master system.
Myth: Only high value freight is targeted for theft.
All types of freight can be a target of theft or pilferage. Sometimes thieves don’t know what is in a trailer before stealing it. Criminals will steal anything they believe they can sell and almost all goods are fair game. Currently electronics are the most targeted items; theft of electronics is up 34% year-over-year according to CargoNet’s 2021 Supply Chain Risk Trends Analysis. Food is often targeted because it is easy to sell and the evidence is consumed. Fleets can be targeted because they aren’t utilizing high security locks. Companies should lock equipment and cargo with heavy duty locking devices. Invest in security devices that will deter criminals such as the ENFORCER Adjustable Rear Door Lock which includes an ABLOY padlock or utilize a hasp and padlock assembly. The ENFORCER King Pin Locks are heavy duty and secure dropped trailers and containers from theft while parked at terminals, distribution centers or retail stores. The King Pin includes an ABLOY lock cylinder.
Myth: Cargo theft only occurs in large cities.
While it is true that a large amount of cargo theft happens in large cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and Toronto; a growing amount of cargo theft is happening in rural areas. Rural areas are seeing an increase in theft because thieves have learned that local police departments are unable to provide much assistance. Agricultural cargo theft has increased in the past few years as well. Equipment and food items, such as nuts, have been targeted coming out of rural communities. Additionally, smaller ports are now seeing an increase in theft due to port logjams and higher amounts of cargo moving through.
Myth: Seal tampering is a cost of doing business.
Unauthorized seal tampering can be frustrating and expensive. Many types of seals are easy to compromise and trucking companies have to write-off expenses due to these instances. Receivers may reject a load due to seal compromise, costing shipper’s money and risking customer relationships. Fleets have an option to prevent seal issues. We recommend the ENFORCER Seal Guard Lock, a locking device that is permanently installed on the trailer and closes over the seal to protect the integrity of the load. The Seal Guard is available with a heavy duty ABLOY padlock.
Cargo theft continues to adapt, so we need to remain vigilant. Keep yourself and staff informed of industry trends and continue to be proactive in securing your equipment and cargo.
By Nick Erdmann
Over the past few months supply chain delays, bottlenecks and cargo thefts have made national news on a more frequent basis. Consumers are learning two things that most of those in the industry already know:
Now more than ever, manufacturers and their shippers must be proactive about preventing cargo theft.
Companies can experience a variety of delivery obstacles. Retailers and manufacturers rely on shipping companies to deliver on time but mechanical issues with the truck, driver service hour requirements or improperly packed shipments can ultimately mean product is missing on the shelf. Out-of-stocks can be very costly and customer satisfaction may be impacted. Don’t add trailer theft or pilferage to the list of reasons why your products may not be delivered.
When evaluating risk-mitigation, select a shipper that prioritizes security. It is common practice for manufacturers to require a certain level of security on their loads. Companies can set these security standards, including requiring a high security padlock, trailer door lock or seal protection for cargo in transit. Cargo at rest in storage containers or parked trailers may also require heavy duty king pin locks.
In CargoNet’s 2020 Supply Chain Risk Report, “Reports of cargo only theft incidents increased by 18% year-over-year - this category would consist of trailer pilferage events, fictitious pickups, and warehouse burglaries.”
Data from CargoNet’s report also shows locations that experienced the highest amount of theft for the year were truck stops, parking lots and warehouses/D.C.’s. These locations can be particularly vulnerable for retailers with products sitting in trailers.
The ENFORCER® security products for trucks, trailers and containers are designed for the rugged supply chain environment. The ENFORCER products include ABLOY® heavy duty padlocks and security devices that incorporate ABLOY lock cylinders or padlocks. ABLOY locks allow for various master keying systems.
An excellent lock for retail applications is the ENFORCER Adjustable Lock #1217. This lock is portable and ready to use right out of the box. No installation is necessary. The Adjustable has a cast steel block that protects an ABLOY 350 padlock (included with purchase) for maximum security from physical attack and rear door tampering. The lock adjusts in half inch increments around the locking rods making for a tight fit on all trailers and containers. It protects both the active and passive swing doors.
If your company is utilizing seals on containers, you may want to require The ENFORCER® Trailer Seal Guard™ Lock. The Seal Guard lock is permanently installed on the trailer door securing plastic, metal, bolt or cable seals from tampering and unauthorized removal. The lock goes over the seal and is secured with an ABLOY® padlock protecting both the seal and the trailer door.
For dropped trailers, consider requiring shippers to use a heavy duty king pin lock such as the ENFORCER King Pin Lock. This lock is portable and easy to install. The lock is made of solid cast steel alloy. It covers and locks the king pin to prevent unauthorized trailer hook ups.
Retailers are encouraged to evaluate security standards for shipping companies and consider requiring heavy duty locks to secure product. This will help mitigate theft and disruptions to your supply chain.
Pilferage is an emerging trend in cargo theft and trucking companies are seeing it become a growing issue. Pilferage is when part of a shipment, rather than the entire shipment, is stolen. Cargo thieves have learned that breaking into a parked trailer and removing some goods is less risky than stealing the entire trailer. In CargoNet’s 2020 Supply Chain Risk Report, “Reports of cargo only theft incidents increased by 18% year-over-year - this category would consist of trailer pilferage events, fictitious pickups, and warehouse burglaries.”
Often times pilferage is difficult to detect quickly, putting time and space between the thief and the crime. While this is viewed as low risk to the thief, trucking companies are faced with economic loss from the stolen products, insurance claims and damaged customer relationships.
Data from CargoNet’s report also shows locations that experienced the highest amount of theft for the year were truck stops, parking lots and warehouses/D.C.’s. These locations are hotbeds for pilferage as trailers tend to be more accessible in these locations. Stories indicate thieves pop the trailer door seal off, grab a couple of boxes and run.
There are various strategies to prevent and minimize pilferage including driver education and communication as well as truck and trailer locks. Theft can be reduced by educating drivers on current theft statistics and trends. Providing drivers with information on where theft is occurring and safe parking locations is becoming increasingly important. Companies are finding various ways to achieve this using technology. Drivers need to continue to be vigilant and keep in mind that, “Freight at rest is freight at risk.”
The ENFORCER® trailer locks from Transport Security, Inc. protect rear and side doors from pilferage. The ENFORCER product line includes ABLOY® high security padlocks. ABLOY lock cylinders are designed with rotating discs, like the tumblers in a bank safe, instead of the traditional springs and pins. This type of construction allows for reliable function in extreme environments as well as various master keying systems.
The ENFORCER Adjustable Trailer Lock protects the trailer or container's back door padlock from tampering. The Adjustable comes with a high security ABLOY padlock. Locks can be keyed individually or to a master system.
Also available from Transport Security is the ENFORCER Seal Guard™ Lock that protects plastic, metal, bolt or cable seals from tampering. It is permanently installed on the trailer. The lock goes over the seal and is secured with an ABLOY padlock.
Transport Security offers customized keying solutions for their products. Fleets can have locks keyed alike, different or different but to a master system with one key that can open all of the locks. Many large fleets choose to key each location or terminal to a different key code with a master key that opens locks to all locations.
As pilferage continues to be attractive to cargo thieves, trucking companies need to ensure their trailer doors are secured with a high security locking device. Most thieves won't have tools or the time to bother it.
By Nick Erdmann, Transport Security, Inc.
The increased movement of cargo during the peak season historically leads to a spike in theft. To reduce losses for your fleet, consider any additional security devices needed for the extra trucks, trailers or containers being utilized this holiday season outlined below. All of our ENFORCER® locks listed include an ABLOY® lock cylinder or padlock. ABLOY locks utilize rotating discs instead of the traditional springs and pins. This type of construction allows for reliable function in extreme environments. Locks for peak season use can be keyed individually or to your fleet’s current Transport Security master system allowing complete key control on your end.
For additional information or a quote, please contact Nick Erdmann at 630-247-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transport Security, Inc. Joins Women In Trucking Bringing proven cargo solutions to Women In Trucking community.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Transport Security, Inc.
Transport Security, Inc. Joins Women In Trucking
Bringing proven cargo solutions to Women In Trucking community.
(Waconia, MN – December 17, 2019) Transport Security, Inc. announced today that they have joined the non-profit organization Women In Trucking.
Security within the trucking industry has changed substantially in recent years due to the increased risks of theft. In the United States alone, cargo theft accounts for billions of dollars of annual losses. Transport Security partners with organizations like Women In Trucking to stay well-informed of industry security issues and to provide proven cargo security solutions to members.
“Joining Women In Trucking further enhances our commitment to being a security resource partner for trucking companies. We partner with police, task forces, security councils and other organizations to help to address cargo theft issues,” said Nick Erdmann, Business Development Manager at Transport Security, Inc. “Transport Security provides end-to-end security solutions for the entire trailer and container, including roll-up doors locks, king pin locks, air cuff locks, seal guard locks (to protect food, safety, and security), and seals.”
Transport Security, Inc. - ENFORCER® is a leader in cargo security solutions. For over 40 years, Transport Security has been the chosen security partner for thousands of companies and fleets throughout the world. We provide high security solutions for the trucking, supply chain, portable storage and retail sectors. The ENFORCER line of high security trailer and container locks, truck locks, and C-TPAT security seals set the standard for the industry.
Transport Security Inc.
820 South Pine Street
Waconia, Minnesota 55387