Cargo theft is an issue that will not go away. Luckily, there are technology-based solutions available for fleet managers and drivers to reduce cargo theft risk.
Not on a Thursday!
According to a survey of cargo theft in EMEA in 2017, drivers should be particularly on their guard against cargo theft on Thursdays because this is when it peaks. The survey reported close to 5,000 cargo thefts in EMEA and highlighted the greater risk of theft at unsecured parking. Where it differed from other surveys was in identifying specific regions within countries that are most affected by the theft. They include the East Midlands, a location that with 754 thefts accounted for over half the UK’s. Conversely, in Germany, cargo theft is more evenly distributed. The most at risk regions were Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, which had 19% of thefts each.
Curtains for theft?
The same survey noted that the most prevalent type of theft, at 44%, was the slashing of curtains on curtainsider trailers. Pilferage took second place at 31%. This was followed by vehicle theft and facility theft (5% each) and fuel theft (4%), thefts of full truckloads (3%) and deceptive pickup and last-mile courier thefts each with 1%.
EU technology-based cargo theft prevention kit
The department responsible for transport at the European Commission, DG Move, has developed a new security toolkit for the European Road Freight Transport Sector. The Security Toolkit for Truck Drivers is downloadable. It has been designed to help European truck drivers, haulage companies and other road transport players to “address cargo theft, stowaway entry to trucks and terrorism on European roads”.
The toolkit proposes various technology-led cargo theft prevention solutions including:
- Track & trace – Install vehicle and cargo unit trackers and geofencing to trigger alerts if a trailer deviates too far from a pre-set For additional security, add remote vehicle immobilisation capability.
- Awareness & response– Equip your trucks and trailers with multi-channel telematics. Give your drivers mobile devices and applications for finding secure parking places. Have sensors alert your driver’s smartphone or watch if a truck or trailer door opens. Install a vehicle-based mist generator to make it difficult for thieves.
- Access control – Use electronic keys and multi-factor biometric driver authentication using fingerprints, retina or other body parts for identification.
- Locks & seals– Install automatic or slam-lock applications, remote locking and electronic seals with a remote reporting capability.
Other categories include alarms & detectors; camera surveillance for trucks & trailers and data-driven driver selection. (source: ROADSEC)
With the advent of Big Data, some logistics organisations are collecting information on cargo thefts that take place in specific areas. They are using computer analytics to analyse this data and find patterns in the thefts, which they can feed into predictive models. These models can then help fleet managers and drivers prevent cargo theft by using the information to plan the safest routes for deliveries, avoiding towns, roads and parking areas where, historically, there has been a high incidence of cargo crime. (source: Sdcexec)
Commercial Fleet magazine has examined cargo theft prevention from a more low-tech perspective. Kersey Freight purchased 15 box-bodied Dry Liner semi-trailers from Krone. These box trailers are fitted with door locking bars situated inside rather than outside the trailer. The hinge pins cannot be accessed from outside. In addition, the driver can lock a stainless bar across the door handles when the doors are shut. The walls and roof of the trailer are also solid. These security features make these trailers difficult to break into.
Other variants of this semi-trailer can be side- and rear-loaded and centrally locked and unlocked from the tractor unit either from the cab or remotely from the fleet’s headquarters.
Several commentators have highlighted the vulnerability of curtainsiders to theft as their walls can be slashed relatively easily with a knife and other basic cutting tools. To counteract this potential weakness, companies such as Cunningham offer an anti-slash curtainsider which incorporates steel mesh sandwiched between two layers of fabric. These are welded onto and bolted through the curtainsider for secure attachment.
At a recent conference, John C. Tabor, senior vice president of supply chain for National Retail Systems advised fleets to wrap their curtainsiders in company logos and graphics instead of leaving them in plain white, to make any stolen trailers more distinctive and traceable by law enforcement agencies. (source: Freightwaves)
Advice on trailers and protecting them from cargo theft with TIP Trailer rental
With a fleet of over 66,000 trailers in its fleet and 50 years in the trailer rental business, TIP has the expertise and experience to advise on the best ways to protect your trailer and cargo from theft. Customers renting trailers through TIP Trailer Services benefit from this advice.
TIP rental options
We offer a range of trailers on a rental basis including semi-trailers, flatbed, curtainsider, box trailers, tankers and reefers to add to your fleet.
Outsource trailer maintenance and repair
To help our clients maximise trailer uptime and as part of trailer rental contracts, TIP Trailer Services provides maintenance and repair management services. Whilst your rental trailer is being maintained or repaired, we supply you with other trailers to ensure the smooth running of your business.
You can also depend on our Europe-wide breakdown recovery service 24/7 365 days per year. For further information on flexible trailer rental with TIP Trailer Services rental fleet, please contact us using this form.
Sign up for TIP Newsletter
If you wish to receive the latest industry news on a quarterly basis, please use the sign-up button below.