The July 4th holiday weekend in the United States tends to harbor one of the highest rates for cargo theft of any weekend of the year, according to Dan Burges, senior director of intelligence at FreightWatch International.
“Shippers, manufacturers and transportation companies must remain aware of the increased security risks during the upcoming holiday weekend,” Burges said. “Holidays can cause long delays for drivers attempting to deliver loads. These delays will increase the risk to drivers and loads in-transit by leaving them vulnerable for longer periods of time.”
Many holiday thefts occur at terminals and drop yards where loaded trailers are parked for long periods. “This amplifies the need for logistics professionals to ensure their security protocols are up to date and in line with industry best practices,” Burges said.
FreightWatch recommends trucking and warehouse operators:
- Treat all alarm trouble signals as an intrusion alarm.
- Do not rely on a backup (cellular/radio) system.
- If primary alarm fails, assign a security officer to patrol facility exterior or have a member of management remain at the facility.
For in-transit operations, FreightWatch said drivers should remain “vigilant and maintain communication with their dispatch when stopped at high risk areas such as truck stops and rest areas. Loads should not be dropped or left unattended for any reason.”
Alan F. Spear, chairman of TAPA Americas and director of cargo security loss control at Chartis, said all holiday weekends demonstrate statistically higher levels of cargo theft, particularly during the months leading up to the holiday season in December.
"Any time cargo is left unattended, it is at risk of theft, but particularly when the time it is unattended is extended, such as may occur over a holiday weekend," he said. "Shippers and carriers of HVTT (high value theft targeted) cargo should take extra precautions on holiday weekends; either avoiding shipments during these times, or being certain that cargo in transit and storage is properly protected."