Truck Cargo Theft Is on the Rise: What the Industry Needs to Know

Truck Cargo Theft on the Rise
Within the modern supply chain and shipping industry, some challenges and obstacles are expected and anticipated when dealing with digitization and modern cargo management. The instances of freight theft of containers and entire trailers being stolen have gone through the roof in the last year. However, recent trends have caught even many of the transportation experts by surprise when it comes to truck cargo theft. An article by Transport Topics unpacked recent surveys that “reported 1,502 total theft events for 2020. That compared with 1,106 in 2019 and 1,181 in 2018… Thefts specific to cargo reached 1,059 total events in 2020, compared with 758 in 2019 and 797 in 2018.” This growing trend of truck cargo theft presents a critical issue for drivers and shipping managers, and logistics supervisors because it puts even more stress and pressure on an already strained supply chain.

Truck Cargo Thefts Represent a Big Risk to Today’s Shippers

Loss of any cargo can be overwhelming to shippers and transportation service providers, but it can devastate the supply chain when entire containers and trailers go missing. While in-demand items have always been primary targets for theft, it often has been limited to electronics and luxury items and automotive supplies. Thieves have primarily remained focused on these kinds of items before 2008. However, by 2010 at the height of the U.S. recession, the focus switched. The new hot items for truck cargo theft were primarily food and beverage commodities. The natural shift from one hot commodity to another is typical. Still, the first-time general household items such as soap, sanitizer, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper have been so directly focused. This greatly compounded the risk to shippers who were already working with tight capacity limits, strict deadlines, and more demand than there was supply available. These cargo thefts greatly compounded the already strained market and made the whole supply and demand disaster risky and challenging for shippers, retailers, and the general public. These digital freight inefficiencies and issues can create a ripple effect that can travel end to end throughout the supply chain.

Increased Use of Technology Can Help Shippers Prevent Theft

With the continual pressure felt by drivers and fleet managers, especially during market instability and shifting consumer demands, the added pressure surrounding truck cargo theft only complicates matters. Thankfully, options exist that can help reduce the frequency of thefts while also making it easier to track items along the supply chain. Many critical technological tools and systems have been developed to assist the supply chain network, and shippers and carriers alike can use these tools to secure their loads and prevent truck cargo theft. Embracing modern technology, real-time tracking, intelligent data analysis, and automated platforms can help reduce theft frequency within the trucking network and warehouse logistics.

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Why Having a Digital Claims Management Program Is Critical to Mitigating the “Damage” Caused by Truck Cargo Theft

Implementing and utilizing an online system to file a claim for lost cargo and stolen freight can help reduce the impact it has on the shippers, carriers, and market as a whole. Users can log in, enter the data for the shipment, report it stolen, track responses, see what progress has been made on the claim, add additional information, and much more. Implementing a digital claims management program, using cloud resources to file and manage all processes from start to finish, can help with damage control and compensation from truck cargo theft in several ways:

Stay Ready to Respond With the Right TMS and Tech Stack in Your Operation

Within the modern supply chain marketplace, challenges and obstacles remain the norm. Truck cargo thefts can easily catch transportation managers and supervisors by surprise. Access to automated tracking and monitoring systems can provide valuable information in the event of theft. These technologies can significantly increase the likelihood of the cargo being recovered. Request a MercuryGate demo to see MercuryMyCarrierClaim and MercuryMyEZClaim in action today and see the benefits of shipment tracking and monitoring and how it can help overcome the effects of market volatility and trends.

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Pete Celestina
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