Cargo Insurance, Industry Insights | Jason Palumbo

Cargo Theft Holiday Advisory – Preparations to Secure Your Supply Chain

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Learn these best practices to secure your supply chain.

Cargo thieves are poised to strike as you look forward to relaxing by the lake or beach during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Cargo theft increases during extended holiday weekends because cargo is typically left unattended for longer periods. However, you can stay ahead of these opportunistic thieves and reduce exposure by following these best practices to secure your supply chain.

Premise Inspection and Security Check

  • Check that all security equipment is in working order
  • Perform alarm tests and check your CCTV for functionality
  • Does the alarm and CCTV work during a power outage? If not, you will need a backup battery system or generator
  • Check all lights inside and out, replacing lightbulbs if necessary
  • Remove debris from around your facility that may allow access to windows, gates, fences, and cutback landscape that may obscure or provide an access point
  • Secure vehicles, equipment, and any important materials inside including on desks
  • Walk the grounds and check your fencing for any security issues
  • Check door and window locks- replace any not in working order
    • Check with your alarm provider to confirm your account and person(s) of contact are correct and up to date and provide these names to your local law enforcement

Advocate Awareness and Communication

  • Increase your staff’s awareness of present risks leading into the holiday weekend
  • Make all vendors along your supply chain and distribution line aware of holiday risks
  • Be sure to authentication paperwork before allowing access to facilities
  • Confirm shipments going to or leaving leaving your facility
  • Verify trailers and trucks, as well as drivers  and that identification is aligns with your current  business partners
  • If needed, allow for a second set of eyes for verification during the holidays

Top US Industries targeted for cargo theft 2021 - Consumer Products 20% Electronics 18% Agriculture 15% Pharma 13% Industrial 10% All Others 25%

Utilize Technology and Vigilance to Secure Cargo In-Transit

  • Secure trucks and trailers with GPS technology, locks, engine kill switches, and any other security technology both while in transit and at rest
  • Best practices during holiday weekends include short haul, same-day delivery if possible to avoid any potential safety issues or potential theft
  • Strictly abide by the 4 hour, 250 mile travel rule before stopping after picking up any cargo
  • Be cautious of anyone following and report any suspicious vehicles to law enforcement
  • Frequent areas for cargo theft include: rest areas, gas stations, unsecure lots, rail facilities, truck lots
  • When stopping, choose a well lit, secure area and locked your load no matter how long you will be away

Top three states for cargo theft in 2021 - map showing CA 26% TX 22% FL 10%

Cargo criminals don’t take holidays, but they will try to spoil yours. So take the time to prepare and implement best practices and safety measures to keep your supply chain safe. Don’t be a target this Memorial Day Holiday; instead, be prepared.


This information is presented as a specialty service offerings through a strategic partnership with BSI Supply Chain Services and Solutions. BSI is a leading global provider of supply chain intelligence, auditing services, audit compliance, risk management software solutions, and loss prevention advisory services. Through this partnership, our clients will have preferred access to risk intelligence and best practice insights to improve overall supply chain security and reduce theft and cargo loss risk. 

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a public service and for discussion of the subject in general. It is not to be construed as legal advice. Readers are urged to seek professional guidance from appropriate parties on all matters mentioned herein.

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