JERSEY CITY, N.J., and DES PLAINES, Ill., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — ISO and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) announced today their intent to create a national information sharing system to combat cargo crime. By networking existing databases and adding secure reporting and analytic functions, the new system will enable more efficient, accurate, and timely sharing of cargo-theft information between theft victims, their insurers, and law enforcement.
Cargo theft is a multibillion-dollar economic drain that exploits existing gaps in the nation’s information-sharing framework. When theft victims are unable to provide timely and accurate information concerning their losses, it hampers law enforcement’s ability to conduct an effective investigation. Aside from the immediate loss of merchandise, cargo theft affects insurers and their policyholders through added costs that are ultimately borne by consumers.
Even more troubling are the indirect costs of cargo theft through supply-chain interruption, which can jeopardize product safety when goods are taken from a controlled environment and resold to an unsuspecting public.
For the first time, a nationally coordinated data-sharing system is being built to take into account the needs of insurers, law enforcement, transportation companies, manufacturers, retailers, and their many agents and service providers. The core of the network is a new database called CargoNet(TM), which will be launched in early 2010. The network will also encompass training and investigative support for law enforcement, as well as theft prevention services and analytics.
Vincent Cialdella, ISO senior vice president, explained, “ISO’s track record of building and managing sophisticated and secure systems to share sensitive loss and crime data is ideally suited to building CargoNet(TM). We are greatly encouraged by the strong support we are receiving from leading cargo insurers. This initiative would not be possible without it. We are also encouraged by discussions we have had with transportation companies, manufacturers, and retailers, given the crucial role they play in this initiative.”
Joe Wehrle, president and chief executive officer of NICB, added, “This is a critical step in the plan that the industry and law enforcement mapped out in November 2006, when the National Cargo Theft Task Force recommended the development of intelligence databases and information sharing. Working with our members and law enforcement, NICB has been making progress against cargo theft on many fronts. We have recovered stolen cargo, developed intelligence, and dissolved organized groups behind the thefts. If CargoNet were in place today, I’m sure we’d be seeing a lot more recoveries, and we’d be making thieves think twice about stealing these loads.”
Ronald Thornton, president and chief executive officer of the Inland Marine Underwriters Association (IMUA), a not-for-profit association that represents most U.S. cargo insurers, noted, “IMUA has worked with and on behalf of its members for many years to combat cargo theft. We have made good progress in some areas, but information sharing has remained ad hoc and fragmented at best. Our technical committees and member companies have met with the team developing CargoNet, and I am encouraged by the evident level of support it is receiving. This effort will be a major step forward in the fight against cargo theft for our members and their policyholders, who both play such a critical role in the U.S. economy.
September 1st, 2009
If you are an owner-operator, these guidelines from Western States Cargo Theft Association will help you protect your equipment. If you are a company owner who employs drivers, the following driver guidelines will help prevent the theft of company tractors and trailers.
Be suspicious of individuals asking you to stop as a result of an alleged traffic collision. If unsure, drive to a police station or busy location before stopping. Hijackers frequently use this ruse to get drivers to stop.
Take the bill of lading and/or other paperwork with you when you leave the truck to eat, sleep or use a restroom.
Be especially watchful immediately after picking up the load and just before delivery. The majority of armed hijackings occur within a few miles of the pickup or delivery point. Freeway on-ramps and off-ramps are particularly dangerous.
Stay with the trailer or container during loading or unloading to protect the property, prevent pilfering and observe the condition of the property being handled.
Implement a “no stop” policy for drivers picking up containers for local delivery.
Make sure each of your drivers has a 24-hour phone number for dispatch or management personnel that he/she can call in the event of an emergency.
Require drivers to check and use seals, padlocks and kingpin locks when the trailer is dropped.
Require drivers to keep all cargo compartment doors closed and locked when unit is loaded.
Require the driver to get a signed delivery receipt prior to leaving the delivery location.
Insist that drivers not take loaded units home or to any other location that is not secured.
Require that drivers park units in a reputable truckstop or secure yard when waiting for their delivery time. A number of motels in southern California are being targeted for tractor-trailer thefts and break-ins.
If you are hijacked, always and immediately do as instructed by the hijackers. Listen to what is being said and to the sounds around you as this may provide law enforcement with valuable information as to where the thieves have taken your truck and load.
If you are hijacked or you find that your load has been stolen, immediately notify police (dial 911) and then your 24-hour dispatcher or emergency contact.
You are law enforcement’s best witness. Try to provide them with descriptions of the hijacker(s)and the vehicle(s) they used.
Carry information on your person concerning the identification of the equipment you are driving. You will need license numbers, container and/or trailer numbers and descriptions. Law enforcement cannot make a stolen vehicle report or cargo theft report without this information.