Over the last five years, there has been a rise in reported theft incidents during the winter holiday season. Cargo thieves enjoy the increased shipping volume of holiday gifts and seasonal goods. With the higher demand by consumers, shippers are faced with finding reliable carriers, delivering on time, and possible weather delays. On top if it all, holiday shipping requires extra diligence to prevent theft. Below are four quick tips to help you manage the hustle and bustle of the holiday season without losing out to theft.
Cover loads ahead of time if possible to prevent end-of-day transactions. Remember, your cargo doesn’t have to be high value to get stolen. Anything a consumer needs can be sold, and most stolen loads are “sold” within hours of theft. Popular stolen commodities are food and beverages due to the fact that the evidence can be consumed quickly. Household items and building supplies are also a coveted commodity right now as a result of the damage caused by natural disasters across the nation.
Rely on a carrier that has an established relationship with your company. End of day new carrier setups can be risky as you may avoid red flags just to get the load covered. Attention to detail and gut feelings could be overlooked throughout the setup because your employee is ready to clock out. Thieves take advantage of the tired employee at closing time or after-hours crews that aren’t as seasoned as regular employees. Be wary of a carrier that is willing to take your load for a rate lower than the industry standard. They may just want to steal your load or commit a fuel advance scam.
Don’t hesitate to continually ask questions throughout the shipping process. Below are just a few of the important questions:
- Do you know the actual value of your load?
- Does the route go through a high-risk area?
- Is your carrier rested, fueled up and ready to roll?
- Is your carrier going to load and then park?
- Did you verify the carrier and contacts with an outbound phone call to the FMCSA phone number?
Remember to conduct your check calls, even when the rush of holiday shipping is in full swing. Ask shippers to confirm the motor carrier number at pickup. Also, be sure to call the shipper to confirm the load was picked up prior to issuing a fuel advance. Don’t accept incoming calls as thieves can change phone numbers to show differently on your caller ID.
The holidays should be full of good tidings and traditions. Do all you can to avoid getting wrapped up in the hassle of holiday theft and enjoy extra time during your holiday festivities.
The England Logistics Freight Agent Program provides companies with information and tools to expand and allow them to manage their business. Backed by the England Logistics brand, participating agents enjoy increased market visibility and established business connections. Our dedicated team also delivers consistent support for day-to-day operations. This allows freight agents to expand their portfolio while reinforced by a reliable team.