Reported cargo theft produces an annual loss of $35 billion in the United States, the priciest crime on the books. Food, electronics, metals and apparel are the most popular loads stolen, accounting for 54 percent of the total thefts. And the losses continue to rise.
Don Hsieh, director of commercial and industrial marketing for Tyco, reports that "Ninety percent of cargo thefts occur during transit via trucks. The $35 billion number, which comes from the FBI, is a very large number. There are a lot of issues around it." Organized crime rings are often involved.
Last year the National Insurance Crime Bureau logged 1,215 cargo theft incidents across the country, a 17 percent increase over 2010. Those figures don’t include thefts that go unreported by smaller companies that fear they will lose business if word gets out that they have been victimized, California Highway Patrol Officer Xavier Spencer said in a recent NBC News report. Spencer has been involved in California’s crackdown project on cargo theft.
"California, where 40 percent of American retail goods are imported through the L.A. and Long Beach ports, led all states with 304 occurrences of cargo theft in 2011", Hsieh said. That’s more than $390 million in theft in the state in just the last two years alone; Texas was second on the list with 173 instances of cargo theft, followed by Florida with 146, according to the NBC report. Those three states plus New Jersey, Illinois and Georgia accounted for 75 percent of all truck cargo stolen in the United States last year.
So what can be done to protect the 2 million tractor-trailers on the road each year carrying 67 percent of all U.S. freight?
Technology must be preventative, Hsieh said. Often these crimes are committed when truckers leave their rigs idling in a parking lot while they take a short break. "It becomes very easy for a thief to just steal a truck and drive it off," he said.
September 10, 2013
PeopleNet has partnered with SafeKey in an effort to help customers protect assets and monitor driver well-being. The SafeKey system provides customers with another safety-management tool for safeguarding both drivers and vehicles.
SafeKey is a proactive approach to driver safety and vehicle theft protection. The driver initiates an SOS panic button located on the SafeKey check module up to 100 feet away from the tractor. The remote panic signal sends a real-time alert to a 24/7 monitoring service or dispatch department via text and email that details the driver’s exact location.
The vehicle can be remotely disabled via the network, preventing engine engagement and therefore the theft from even happening. In addition, results are also saved on a secure server for fleet management review.
Cargo/vehicle theft is a serious industry issue, with the average incident costing approximately $320,000 according to a report from FreightWatch International.
The SafeKey ignition interlock, a reliable solid-state electronic circuit installed in the vehicle, prevents a vehicle from being started without the check module.
September 10, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- PeopleNet has partnered with SafeKey, to provide what it says is the first system from an industry technology provider to offer asset protection and driver well-being monitoring.
The new offering is based on a key fob that includes a panic button a driver can press from up to 100 feet away from the tractor.
It notifies fleet management of a situation that could jeopardize the safety of a driver or vehicle.
“The SafeKey system provides our customers another safety-management tool for safeguarding both drivers and vehicles,” said PeopleNet senior vice-president Rick Ochsendorf. “The GPS-enabled key-fob ‘check’ module is like a portable insurance policy for supporting a driver’s personal safety, and minimizing vehicle and cargo theft. SafeKey also provides an optional impairment configuration to strengthen CSA compliance.”
Fleet management, upon receiving an alert, can then remotely disable the vehicle.