Cargo Theft and Packaging

By | 2018-03-14T08:33:21+00:00 March 13th, 2018|Packaging Strategy, Shipping Insights|0 Comments

Are you protecting your shipments from theft?

Jared S. Palmer, from Inbound Logistics Magazine, wrote these words “in today’s global economy, raw materials, manufacturing, and sourcing often occur in one part of the world, while the finished product is warehoused and consumed in another.  Cargo can be stolen at any point in between, compromising product integrity and availability”.

In 2015, 628 incidents of cargo theft resulted in about $27.9 million in stolen cargo, according to the FBI’s 2015 Report on Cargo Theft. Less than 20 percent was recovered.

Unfortunately for us, cargo thieves are quite stealthy.  They know what is hot on the market, and where to find it.  In the same manner, they know how to get the products, and what hurdles they’ll need to jump in the process.

Cargo Theft Statistics

  • Nearly three-quarters of cargo thefts are of full truckloads, according to the Cargo Theft report.  In fact, most thefts occur in parking lots and garages, the FBI reports. By the same token, docks and freight terminals are hot spots for theft.
  • The top types of stolen cargo include food and drink (17 percent), home and garden products (16 percent), with electronic falling in behind (13 percent), according to the second quarter Cargo Theft Report from SensiGuard.

  • With an average of 54 reported cargo thefts per month, the United States sustained cargo thefts at a rate of about two thefts per day in 2017. (And those are just the thefts reported.  A lot of theft goes unreported for various reasons.)
  • In addition, the United States reported an estimated $30 billion in cargo is stolen annually.
  • Pilferage, the method by which thieves gather intelligence on security measures as well as obtain a smaller amount of product, rose by 40% from 2016 to account for 15% of total thefts.

There is no such thing as a one-size fits all resolution to cargo theft.  One of the easiest places to change these statistics is just preparation and taking proactive steps toward product safety.  Cargo theft can occur anywhere, anytime.

So how do I protect my company and my products?  Here are some simple ideas to help combat theft.

  • Plan and regulate prompt pickup and deliveries.  Know your carrier.  Train employees to understand that “freight at rest is freight at risk.”
  • Check and double check that the weight of the shipment remains consistent throughout delivery.
  • Remove any company names and/or logos from the packaging.
  • Use colored / opaque stretch film to conceal the nature of the product.
  • Invest in tamper-evident and/or RFID packaging.
    • Tamper-evident packaging comes in many forms, including tapes, seals, blister packaging, and shrink films.  Tamper-evident packaging is unique in that it has more than one layer that, if compromised, leaves behind evidence of mishandling.
    • RFID packaging, on the other hand, uses an electronic chip usually applied to a substrate to form a label.  The label can be placed on a pallet, in a box, or directly on the product, therefore allowing the package to be monitored while in transit.
  • Evaluate and re-evaluate your packaging strategies. If it’s been over a year since you did this, it’s been too long.  Give us a call.  Evaluations are our specialty.

We understand that every business and every industry has its own mountains to climb and pass over when it comes to theft and packaging, but our people have been around long enough to have seen a couple things, and know a couple things about the industry, and what works, but what might work even better.

If you’ve been fighting with theft, damage, or are just needing to make some changes, why not give us a call? Get started now. A quick 10 minute conversation might be the difference you’ve been looking for. , or call us at 877-410-5564 to speak with a packaging specialist that will help you solve your packaging problems.

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