Cargo theft has significantly increased over recent years and the trend is only expected to continue. According to a recent survey conducted by FreightWatch, 80 per cent of companies listed large-scale freight loss as one of their greatest challenges. In 2011, thieves made off with a load of frozen meat, six loads of tomatoes and a load of cucumbers from Florida growers, with an estimated value of $300,000. In Kentucky, a tractor-trailer pulled into a rest area so the driver could use the restroom. Within 15 minutes, thieves had broken into his truck through a peep-hole window in the passenger door. In another incident, an entire load of refrigerated crab meat bound for Seattle, Washington worth $400,000 disappeared; the driver was apparently the thief.
Quarantine Restraints manufactures high-quality cargo nets for both personal and industrial use. To help keep your insurance costs low, focus your business on freight safety and theft prevention.
Ways Your Company Can Prevent Cargo Theft
Taking the following steps will help keep your cargo safe on your property and aid law enforcement in recovering your belongings if a theft occurs.
- Ensure lighting, security systems and surveillance equipment is in good working order and connected to a back-up generator.
- Beware of “false” alarms. Investigate all signals from security systems, as cargo thieves often intentionally trip systems several times before a theft to give law enforcement and facility personnel the impression the systems are malfunctioning.
- Place tracking devices on trailers and inside products and geo-fence any stationary trailers that are not actively monitored.
- Secure tractors with high-security locks such as air-cuffs and tractor steering joint locks.
- Avoid leaving loaded trailers unattended. If a trailer must be left unattended, park in a secure location.
- Instruct drivers to remove keys from all vehicles and equipment when not in use, especially forklifts and motorized pallet-jacks.
- Secure each trailer with an ISO-17712 compliant barrier seal, use high-security padlocks and kingpin locks for detached trailers.
- Keep a record of all vehicle and equipment information including license plates and VINs.
- Record a physical description of each tractor, trailer, container, and container chassis. If a theft occurs, law enforcement will require this information and may be able to quickly locate your property.
- During holiday downtime, request that law enforcement make routine checks of your facility.
- If you discover a theft, file a report with law enforcement immediately and notify your insurance company.
Cargo Nets: Safety and Maintenance Tips For Fleet Managers
Vehicle and equipment safety inspections and proper maintenance procedures prevent accidents and keep your freight, vehicles and drivers safe. Ensure all equipment and each fleet vehicle complies with a regular schedule of maintenance and safety inspections. Keep accurate records of all maintenance and inspections performed.
Between scheduled procedures, remember to address:
Interior Clutter: Objects under seats slide forward and get caught under the brake or accelerator or interfere with airbag wiring and functionality. Fleet managers should conduct routine inspections of all vehicles to prevent clutter from accumulating in vehicle interiors.
Headlights: Headlights can vibrate out of alignment between scheduled inspections. Check alignment of headlights on all fleet vehicles and equipment to ensure they are even and straight.
Hazard/Emergency Lights: Check hazard lights regularly to ensure they are in good working order. In case of an accident, these lights are vital to alert oncoming traffic.
Cargo Nets: In case of an accident, cargo nets ensure the safety of your drivers by keeping cargo secure inside your vehicles.
Tires: Under-inflated tires cause accidents, injuries and damaged freight. Have your drivers check the tires on vehicles and equipment on a regular basis.
Cell phones: Over 30 per cent of all accidents are caused by drivers distracted by their cell phones.
*All fleet managers should provide employees and contractors with a written statement outlining company policies regarding safety and security expectations and using cell phones.
Quarantine Restraints cargo nets meet the regulatory requirements of several industries. Every detail of our securement systems has been analyzed and tested to ensure the highest level of performance. At Quarantine Restraints, freight safety is foremost and our products were developed through years of research, engineering, and testing to safely secure your cargo in the harshest of conditions.
Designing Your Company’s Pre-Hire Screening Process
Safe drivers are essential for a successfully operating fleet. To ensure your freight arrives at its destination in one piece, hire drivers you can trust.
Prepare a job description that clearly outlines minimum requirements and provide all prospective drivers equal opportunity for selection. Design an official company driver application form that includes all necessary legal protections and contains questions that will allow you to discern the qualified from the unqualified drivers. Treat unsolicited letters of interest, resumes, visits and telephone inquiries professionally, explaining that you begin the qualification and screening process only after receiving your company’s official application form.
Interviewing Prospective Drivers
Good questions to ask prospective drivers in an interview:
- What personality traits so you possess that make you a safe driver?
- Do you believe being on time is important? Why?
- How would you handle a phone call while driving?
- What previous experience or special skills have you developed?
- When you encounter ice on the road, how do you handle the situation?
- What is the most difficult driving situation you’ve faced and how did you handle it?
- If you were involved a serious collision, what would you do?
- Are you prepared to attend new driver orientation and training?
Transporting freight has unique challenges and when new drivers understand your expectations, they are more likely to meet these challenges and your expectations. Provide new driver orientation to ensure new hires know what your company expects regarding safe driving and freight security.
Training new drivers allows them to develop or brush up their skills as well as to demonstrate their understanding of your company’s expectations for freight security and driving safety. Ongoing training improves driver skills and retention and helps freight managers identify those that may require additional training.
Recognize and Reward Drivers Who Meet Your Expectations
An excellent way to improve the performance of your regular drivers and provide incentive for new ones is to reward the highest performers. Safe drivers lower your maintenance and insurance costs, and passing those savings on to your employees can be a powerful motivator.
Install On-board Technology to Improve Fleet Safety
New drivers are more likely to meet your expectations for security and safety when the newest technology is on-board. Technology can now transform any ordinary vehicle or truck into a connected vehicle and will help you identify good drivers, as well as those that require additional training. Combine on-board computers with wireless communication and GPS to get an instant view of your fleet wherever your vehicles are on the road. On-board technology gives fleet managers and security personnel actionable information and by identifying problems, and will increase freight security and driver safety.
Cargo Nets by Quarantine Restraints
Quarantine’s exterior cargo nets connect with four adjustable Flo-strap tie-downs with quick-connecting carabiners designed for quick and easy cargo securement. Our interior cargo nets are designed for easy installation in any make or model of vehicle and protect drivers from flying objects during quick maneuvers or accidents.