Sam Tucker is the founder and CEO of Carrier Risk Solutions, Inc., an Atlanta, Georgia based transportation risk management startup. Prior to this venture, Sam spent 13 years underwriting trucking and logistics accounts at some of the most well known insurance companies. He holds degrees in Business Economics and Finance/Risk Management as well as multiple professional insurance designations. Carrier Risk Solutions' innovative safety management platform can be found online at www.MySafetyManager.com. Reach Sam by email at STucker@CarrierRiskSolutions.com.
Let's face it. You really don't know what's in that taco that you just inhaled. I'm not talking about if the meat is really meat...but where did that meat come from? What about the lettuce? The onions? Catch my drift?
Around 25% of all cargo theft involves some type of food product.
A great deal of that has to do with the fact that most loads of food products
tend to be of lower value and are more easy to fence.
If you consider the state of the economy over the last five or so years and understand that everyone has to eat, then it should really come as no surprise that food products would be high on the list of stolen commodities.
Cargo at rest is cargo at risk!!
Also to note, cargo theft tends to be fairly concentrated occurrence. About 80% of all cargo stolen in the United States today is stolen in one of five states.
Those are California, Texas, Georgia, Florida and New Jersey.
Honorable mentions also go to the greater Chicagoland area and the area around Memphis,Tennessee. Chicago is a major freight hub for both truck and rail cargo.
The Memphis area is troublesome because of the major amount of freight that flows through the area each year.
Although correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, it is interesting to note that all these locations are near major ports.
Sticking with the 80/20 rule theme, most cargo is stolen from unsecured parking locations.
This doesn't necessarily mean just truck stops. Cargo Is often stolen from parking lots, the side of the road or any other location that a driver may be forced to park it overnight.
The need for safe and secure truck parking was recently highlighted in a study released by the federal government which was required under the provisions of MAP-21.
While truck parking has been a major concern for the transportation industry for quite some time, this study sounded alarm bells about the issue. It will be interesting to see if anything comes out of the initial buzz around the report's release.
My recommendation is that drivers do not stop within the first 250 to 300 miles of their trip unless they are completing their federally mandated truck inspection or suffering from a mechanical issue.
Drivers are encouraged to always be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity, including if anyone appears to be following them.
Freightwatch International should be releasing their annual Cargo theft report within the next few weeks. Be sure to look out for a future post once that is released.