Cargo Theft’s Impact on the Retail Community

supply-chain security program, supply-chain risk mitigation
The supply-chain network demands control

Cargo theft may have been perceived in the past as a trucking industry problem or one that resides at the desk of an insurance claim adjuster. But clearly today in the retail industry, it is an “us” problem that needs all hands on deck and all stakeholders to be “all in.”

Cargo theft often is thought of as a silent and victimless crime despite the fact that it accounts for losses of billions of dollars annually in the United States. The most common incidences of cargo theft involve gangs who steal high-value commodities from loaded trailers. Substantial loses can also occur from facility burglaries. Cargo theft has a great impact to the economy of the US, which carries the world’s largest national economy making roughly 17 to 22 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) according to An insight into the impact of cargo theft on the retail community is crucial in determination of its economic significance to the US at large.

In any business the mechanics of its supply chain helps the various management groups in keeping track of the flow of goods from one point to another. Therefore, if the supply chain loses control or has a substantial disruption, a chain of instability is created. This disruption influences not only the business areas, but also indirectly large portions of the economy.

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Security measures can be taken by companies to improve their vehicle and facility security. Implementation of technologies and security devices to create security practices with common sense can be the first step that can help in mitigating and preventing losses associated with cargo theft. For example, use of a GPS tool can help the company track and locate lost commodities.

Others preventive tactics include employee screening and training whereby the drivers—also known as our “knights of the highway”—would be empowered to be at the forefront in fighting against cargo theft crimes.

To read more of Scrofani’s article on cargo theft, see the January-February 2016 issue. To see a PDF version, visit the Print Archive.

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