Combat cargo theft with analytics and reporting

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Ironically, cargo theft is often “driven” by where trucks are parked. Recent reports from CargoNet, a division of Verisk Analytics, and the Transported Asset Protection Association Europe, found a positive correlation between cargo theft from trucks and roadside parking.

In the third quarter of 2015, cargo thefts from vehicles parked along the side of a road in the United States and Canada increased 144 percent when compared to the same period a year prior. That increase is in spite of an overall decrease in cargo thefts between the third quarters of 2014 and 2015. 

In Europe, 69.3 percent of the truck-related cargo thefts that were reported in October 2015 occurred at unsecured parking locations, according to information in “Vigilant,” a newsletter published by the Transported Asset Protection Association Europe.

This highlights the importance of monitoring transit activity—whether you represent a transportation company or a business that relies on transportation companies to get your precious cargo from one place to the next using trucks.

With a risk management information system (RMIS), cargo theft claim data can easily be tracked to find patterns—uncovering times, locations or even drivers repeatedly associated with claims. Those patterns can then be the genesis for action plans to address the theft, like creating a policy forbidding roadside parking after uncovering most of your claims were occurring roadside; or investigating a driver more thoroughly after realizing repeated claims occurred on his or her watch.

Of course, claims data can’t be tracked if it’s never recorded. Under-reporting cargo theft claims is common—whether it’s to protect a transit company’s reputation for fear of losing clients or whether it’s because the company won’t receive any financial benefit from reporting because it is self-insured or under-insured.

Despite those pains, under-reporting cargo theft claims can be damaging, too—inhibiting transit companies and their clients from identifying the root of the theft and troubleshooting to fix a costly problem for all involved parties.

When claim reporting is easy and fast, drivers will be more willing to do it. Plus, their reports will likely be more accurate. With the right RMIS, you can offer mobile forms with fillable fields for drivers to complete when a theft occurs. The form should be available via a mobile application, as well as in a format that doesn’t require an Internet connection in case a driver is in an area with spotty wireless service.

If you’re committed to reporting cargo theft to external agencies or associations that fight cargo crime, you replicate their forms within your system, as well as automatically e-mail the cargo theft claim report directly from your RMIS.

Giving drivers or other field users access to such forms doesn’t have to mean handing over the keys to the coveted data in your RMIS. All information can be recorded and submitted via a risk management portal, which limits user access based on restrictions you establish.

Cargo crime costs companies millions of dollars each year. Don’t let parked trucks drive down your companies’ profits.