Cargo crime is a multi-billion dollar problem that affects trucking companies and the general public. But the true impacts likely reach even further.
One of the more problematic side effects of cargo theft for trucking companies and shippers is the issue of “brand damage,” says Don Hsieh, director of commercial and industrial marketing for Tyco Integrated Security, in an interview with Fleet Owner magazine.
When stolen goods, namely perishables, are resold to consumers they may be made unsafe.
“If pharmaceuticals and foods are stolen but are not kept at the correct temperatures, then resold back into the market and make consumers sick, that can come back and damage the brands not only of the shippers but of the carriers as well,” Hsieh told Fleet Owner.
There are also potentially significant monetary impacts:
“Take pharmaceuticals, for example, as most drugs are tracked by lot number,” Hsieh pointed out. “If a load is stolen and the manufacturer fears it may be resold into the market, it may be forced to recall the entire lot of that particular drug – and that may cost multiples of the value of that single stolen load.”
According to consulting firm FreightWatch, food and beverages top the list of most stolen cargo type in the U.S.
Then there’s the “reputational risk” for carriers to consider:
“If a carrier is hit multiple times with cargo theft, that’s going to threaten their brand with shippers looking for not only reliable and dependable transportation but security as well,” Hsieh said. “Carriers need to ensure they have the right security processes and technologies in place to prevent theft so they can better position themselves to win the high value loads that offer the best rates.”