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The Rise of Strategic Cargo Theft and Steps to Forestall It

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

The Rise of Strategic Cargo Theft and Steps to Forestall It

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, referred to 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 an enormous improve of 430% yr over yr.

From conventional strategies to stylish high-tech schemes, strategic cargo theft usually targets complete truckloads of products carrying meals, drinks and electronics. Fleet house owners 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.

High ways for contemporary cargo theft

Diligence is required to safeguard cargo from refined heists, which may manifest in several methods, from phishing and on-line scams to full-blown id theft. Understanding widespread cargo theft ways will assist drivers and fleet carriers develop the correct danger administration methods to scale back the probability 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 organize 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 generally 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.

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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 widespread 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 tackle and intercept an present load.

Efficient methods for Strategic cargo theft prevention

Shielding your digital knowledge from malicious actors is crucial to assist forestall cargo theft. Listed below are 4 finest practices to contemplate:

  1. Safeguard and confirm your data.

Leveraging your individual experiences and insights from colleagues {and professional} networks could be a highly effective proactive measure in opposition to 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 comparable to e mail addresses, cellphone numbers, bodily addresses, logos and even names can thwart potential scams. Regardless of showing minor, these discrepancies can lead to vital property losses and damages.

As a shipper or receiver, meticulous monitoring of each incoming and outgoing truck out of your premises is important. Word particulars comparable to motor service quantity, driver’s license data, invoice of lading, service identify and extra, and make the most of video cameras or seize pictures to doc this data every time doable.

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Though this stage of scrutiny requires effort, it considerably raises the bar for unhealthy actors trying to steal your worthwhile cargo.

  1. Display screen new partnerships.

Like our private relationships, sustaining connections with trusted carriers or brokers is vital to ongoing safety. The belief and understanding constructed over time make sure that your pursuits are prioritized. When contemplating new partnerships, vet potential suppliers completely through references, your skilled community and knowledge assets just like the Federal Motor Service Security Administration or Carrier411 to safeguard your operations.

  1. Keep a wholesome stage of skepticism.

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

  1. Guarantee data safety protocols are in place.

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

  • Keep password confidentiality. Solely share key passwords with trusted, obligatory events and usually replace previous passwords and shut on-line accounts or methods which are now 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 which may be making an attempt to impersonate a professional firm.
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Ought to a theft happen, promptly file a report with regulation 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 tackle and mitigate the impacts of cargo theft.


Have a query on mitigate danger? Electronic mail [email protected] for an opportunity to see your query answered in a future weblog.

[1] Verisk “2023 Third Quarter Supply Chain Risk Trends Analysis.”


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