The Rise of Strategic Cargo Theft and Steps to Stop It

This submit is a part of a collection sponsored by IAT Insurance coverage Group.

Cargo theft reached an all-time excessive final yr — up 57% throughout North America alone.[1]

Mostly, these thefts are the results of an ongoing misdirection of assaults on shipments, known as strategic cargo theft, the place perpetrators use stolen identities from motor carriers and logistics brokers to redirect and steal freight. This type of theft grew throughout the nation however particularly in home hotspots together with California, Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee and Texas, and skilled a large enhance of 430% yr over yr.

From conventional strategies to classy high-tech schemes, strategic cargo theft usually targets complete truckloads of products carrying meals, drinks and electronics. Fleet homeowners and operators ought to take proactive measures to safeguard cargo earlier than a loss and know the required steps to observe if it does occur.

Prime techniques for contemporary cargo theft

Diligence is required to safeguard cargo from refined heists, which might manifest in several methods, from phishing and on-line scams to full-blown identification theft. Understanding frequent cargo theft techniques will assist drivers and fleet carriers develop the appropriate danger administration methods to cut back the chance of loss.

When impersonating a dealer or service, perpetrators will mimic a freight dealer to safe a cargo with a buyer and service, after which prepare for a driver to move and ship the freight. They usually use industry-specific phrases, present directions to not disclose supply particulars to the shipper and typically tender money upon supply.

As soon as the professional service has loaded the freight, they try to redirect the service to a warehouse for fast transloading and product motion. When the cargo doesn’t arrive, the client investigates and realizes they may have engaged with a fraudulent dealer or service. The unsuspecting driver who adopted directions and wasn’t conscious of the rip-off usually will get penalized.

Some scammers will “create” a brand new brokerage to safe the load contract, rent a 3rd occasion to move the cargo, obtain cost from the client after which vanish with out paying the service.

Different frequent types of strategic cargo theft embrace double brokering and impersonating a consignee. With double brokering, a dealer enters into an settlement with a professional service to move freight, however as an alternative of fulfilling the job, the service brokers the load to a different occasion with out the consent of the unique shipper and retains the cost with out compensating the precise transporting service. When impersonating a consignee, scammers use phishing and different strategies of cyber breach to change the recipient handle and intercept an current load.

Efficient methods for Strategic cargo theft prevention

Shielding your digital information from malicious actors is crucial to assist stop cargo theft. Listed below are 4 greatest practices to think about:

  1. Safeguard and confirm your info.

Leveraging your individual experiences and insights from colleagues {and professional} networks is usually a highly effective proactive measure towards cargo scams. For example, if an unfamiliar individual claiming to be from one in all your distributors contacts you, cross-check with a trusted contact from that vendor to substantiate the legitimacy of the brand new particular person.

Observing nuances reminiscent of e mail addresses, telephone numbers, bodily addresses, logos and even names can thwart potential scams. Regardless of showing minor, these discrepancies may end up in vital property losses and damages.

As a shipper or receiver, meticulous monitoring of each incoming and outgoing truck out of your premises is important. Be aware particulars reminiscent of motor service quantity, driver’s license info, invoice of lading, service identify and extra, and make the most of video cameras or seize images to doc this info every time potential.

Though this degree of scrutiny requires effort, it considerably raises the bar for dangerous actors making an attempt to steal your useful cargo.

  1. Display screen new partnerships.

Like our private relationships, sustaining connections with trusted carriers or brokers is essential to ongoing safety. The belief and understanding constructed over time be certain that your pursuits are prioritized. When contemplating new partnerships, vet potential suppliers totally through references, your skilled community and information sources just like the Federal Motor Provider Security Administration or Carrier411 to safeguard your operations.

  1. Preserve a wholesome degree of skepticism.

When evaluating carriers or brokers, watch out for presents that appear too good to be true. Though some degree of value differentiation exists in each {industry}, the core bills within the trucking sector stay comparatively steady: gasoline, car repairs and driver compensation. If a supplier guarantees considerably decrease charges than rivals or unusually beneficiant pay for drivers, delve deeper to grasp the rationale behind such presents.

  1. Guarantee info safety protocols are in place.

Though seemingly elementary, the next practices stay important for cover towards trendy scams, together with cargo theft:

  • Preserve password confidentiality. Solely share key passwords with trusted, obligatory events and repeatedly replace previous passwords and shut on-line accounts or programs which can be not wanted.
  • Keep away from clicking on hyperlinks from unfamiliar sources. Encourage staff to hover over hyperlinks with their cursor and test the browser standing bar earlier than clicking on a hyperlink.
  • Chorus from responding to unsolicited emails, particularly ones that could be making an attempt to impersonate a professional firm.

Ought to a theft happen, promptly file a report with legislation enforcement, notify all related stakeholders and collaborate along with your dealer or insurer to provoke the claims course of. By following these protocols, you may successfully handle and mitigate the impacts of cargo theft.


Have a query on the right way to mitigate danger? E mail for an opportunity to see your query answered in a future weblog.

[1] Verisk “2023 Third Quarter Provide Chain Danger Developments Evaluation.”


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