Semi-trucks moved 72.5% of freight in the United States in 2020 according to data from the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Simply put, trucks and their drivers keep our nation’s economy moving. Unfortunately, thieves are aware of this fact and target trucks for cargo theft. This is a serious issue and it’s important to be prepared and take steps to keep yourself and your freight safe.
Here are some tips truckers can use to prevent cargo theft:
1. Don’t Talk About Your Freight
At truck stops, you may end up chatting with your fellow truckers or other travelers you pass by. While there’s nothing wrong with swapping stories, be cautious about oversharing. In particular, never share details about the type of freight you are hauling or specifics about your route. The person you are talking to may not have the best intentions or, even if you trust this person, a thief could overhear and decide to target your truck.
2. Don’t Assume Your Cargo Won’t Be Targeted
Many people assume that high-value items or potentially dangerous hauls like hazardous materials would be the main targets for thieves. While organized thieves can often target these hauls and extra precautions are often necessary, any type of cargo can be a target. In fact, lower-value household goods are often more of a target because they can be sold easily. Opportunistic thieves may even steal cargo that seems too specialized to be valuable simply because the truck is vulnerable. With this in mind, it’s best to be too cautious versus not being cautious enough, regardless of the cargo you are hauling.
3. Avoid Stopping in Dangerous Areas
When you’re making your trip plan, it’s important to consider the safety of the areas where you are stopping for your breaks. Research the areas ahead of time so you can avoid parking for the night in an unsafe location, and always have a few back-ups so you don’t get caught in a situation where you aren’t sure where to park. This is not just important for preventing cargo theft, but also for the sake of your personal safety.
Additionally, avoid stopping within the first stretch after picking up a new load. Thieves sometimes “case” distribution centers and loading docks, and may be waiting for you to stop after a pick-up. If you ever feel unsafe or notice suspicious activity, notice the proper authorities.
4. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
At truck stops, fuel stations, or anywhere else you stop, pay attention to your surroundings. Avoid being on your phone while you are walking around and keep an eye on your truck any time you are away from it. This way you’ll be aware if someone is acting strangely. Again, this helps keep your cargo safe, but is also important for your own personal safety.
Now Hiring for OTR and Regional Trucking Jobs
At DSW, we care about our drivers and know you by name, not by truck number. If you are looking for an over-the-road (OTR) or regional trucking job based in Tucson, we are currently hiring.