The transportation industry has to deal with its fair share of theft. Thieves target cargo, fuel, and even the commercial vehicle itself. While a driver is bound to notice his or her vehicle is missing, missing cargo or fuel may not be apparent right away. The following are suggestions for how drivers can prevent these types o2f losses.
Prevent Cargo Theft
Of the two, cargo represents the more significant loss. Missing cargo costs the fleet money in replacement, time to redeliver, and reputation.
- Know common theft areas and times. Cargo theft occurs most often in specific states, such as California. Narrowing the scope even further, drivers who familiarize themselves with theft-prone counties can take steps to avoid those areas or be more alert while making deliveries in them. For example, California tops the charts for cargo theft, but the bulk of those claims originate from Los Angelos. Other California counties that report high theft rates include San Bernardino and Riverside. Specific days of the week and the year experience higher theft rates as well. Drivers are more likely to report a loss on a weekend or during the holidays.
- Enforce safe parking procedures. A significant portion of theft occurs due to improper parking. Thieves look for easy targets. Parking far away from destinations or in dim areas, leaving keys in the vehicle, not locking doors, and not checking for tampering all make it easy for thieves to abscond with valuable cargo.
- Do not discuss the cargo’s destination. Small talk among workers is normal, but drivers never know who may be eavesdropping. Discussing where they are heading can make them a target. This may require a company-wide policy to prevent employees from revealing cargo destinations on accident.
Prevent Fuel Theft
Fuel represents a significant portion of a fleet’s budget. It is also a desirable target because of the fast return. Fuel thieves can make $100 in a few minutes by siphoning gas from commercial vehicles. If they hit several vehicles, they could make a tidy profit in under an hour.
- Invest in locking fuel caps and anti-siphoning caps. This prevents thieves from tapping into fuel tanks.
- Install tank level meters. This also helps prevent siphoning, but it requires fleets to modify their fuel tanks.
- Connect a smart fuel cap. This is effective against fuel card misuse. While many assume that fuel thieves are unknown operators, many drivers misuse their fuel card to obtain gas for personal use. For example, without a smart fuel cap, the driver can purchase 100 gallons of gas but only put 80 into his or her commercial vehicle. That individual can then put the remaining 20 gallons in a can or a personal vehicle.
Theft prevention is a significant responsibility for all fleets. By taking the above steps, fleet managers can reduce cargo and fuel losses. To learn more about protecting transportation assets, contact the experts at MMA Trion.