Examining Cargo Theft in America


cargo theft in AmericaRetail businesses that rely on shipping services to distribute product must be actively aware of the potential threats to their freight. Part of excelling past competition, adhering to demand and acclimating to market shifts requires not only an inherently good product but also ubiquitous protection while in transit. Shippers must consciously fight against cargo theft to realize uninterrupted fulfillment. Partnering with a 3PL will further assist with ensuring the safety of freight through shipment oversight responsibilities, however, they’ll also act in an advisory role to a business’ wellbeing. Part of third party logistics security includes educating the customer on the red flags of cargo theft and untrustworthy contacts. While exploring shipping opportunities, here are a few aspects related to cargo theft to be mindful of.

The Most Common Types of Cargo Theft

It’s important to understand the basic types of cargo theft before jumping into the telltale signs and red flags. The following will briefly describe what the most common type is and what takes place when the theft occurs.

Fictitious Pick-Up and Fraudulent Trucking

One of the largest causes of cargo theft occurs with fictitious pick-up and fraudulent trucking. This type of theft is a popular criminal scheme that includes various deceptive tactics that include false driver identification, truck insurance and contact with a fake business. These crimes begin with winning a bid for a shipping job on a load posting sites. Upon winning the bid, a direct pick up from the shipper will be made without any intention of following through with the actual shipment plan. Criminals with obvious ill-intent seek high value truckloads near a $250,000 market price and target cross country hauls over the weekend hours. Fictitious pick-up, fraudulent trucking and the other cargo theft types listed below are easily preventable when partnering with a 3PL due to their own in-house fleet of trusted drivers.

  • Brokering and Double-Brokering
  • Secondary / Marginal Carriers
  • Conversion / Holding Cargo Hostage
  • Internal Involvement

Cargo Theft Red Flags

Cargo Theft is growing at an exponential rate across the United States. Thefts have a particular focus in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, simply due to the amount of business traffic in the respective location. Regardless of a retail shipper’s location, partnering with a 3PL will utilize their industry expertise to recommend the best plan of action while promoting awareness and eliminating the chances of falling victim to criminal activity. Below will list the deceptive schemes and red flags for shippers to avoid.

Be Cautious of the Phone Number

A clear sign of fraudulent activity can be seen based on the contact telephone number provided by the criminal driver or business. Look at their landline number and especially the possibility of a cell phone listing to double check its origin and authenticity.

Check the E-Mail Address

Similar to the telephone number, a suspect e-mail address can raise speculation as well. Take a close look at the details of the address provided to ensure it’s a genuine means of contact.

Carrier Packets

Another thing to consider is the carrier packet provided by the driver or business. These documents can be easily stolen and altered to fool a shipper into utilizing their “services.” Cross-reference the information given, and look into the chain of custody history if possible. If things don’t add up or seem suspicious, move on. Always remember that security should always trump convenience.

Freight Security from a Trustworthy 3PL Provider

Freight must be protected at all costs, as it’s the single most important revenue-driving factor for a retail business. The repercussions of mishandled or lost stock are grave. Partnering with an innovative, flexible 3PL with sincere interest and investments in freight security is the best choice for your product’s transportation. The supply chain management available through National Retail Systems, Inc. provides the advisory logistics oversight your company needs to protect the product and ensure it safely arrives at the correct destination designated by the shipper. We pride ourselves on our far-reaching supply chain security to amplify the quality of lean logistics 3PL services for every single one of our clients. To learn more about how National Retail Systems, Inc. can assist with your ultimate 3PL goals, please contact us with any questions and inquiries. We look forward to working with you!

The Ultimate 3PL

National Retail Systems, Inc. (NRS) includes Keystone Freight Corp. & National Retail Transportation, Inc. (NRT). NRS is an asset based 3PL that has been providing logistics services for the World’s leading retail companies for 60+ years. Our hub locations include: New York & New Jersey; Los Angeles, CA; Inland Empire, CA; Savannah, GA; Columbus, OH; Greensboro, NC; and Baltimore, MD.