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Cargo theft is one of the biggest issues fleet managers face – a single incident can cost thousands. Discover how to improve your fleet security.

Keeping cargo safe both on the road and during stopovers is a big factor in whether deliveries are made on time and customer satisfaction levels are maintained. From cargo theft to commercial vehicles being stolen, there are a number of risks associated with fleet security, all of which can lead to huge losses for businesses if not handled effectively. The annual cost associated with the theft of cargo runs into tens of millions of pounds in the UK alone, and accounts for billions of lost dollars in the US. The damage isn’t just financial or a matter for insurers either – it can hurt your company’s reputation if stakeholders’ cargo is lost or delayed as a result of security shortfalls.

Why is security important for fleet managers?

Security for commercial vehicles is majorly important for fleet managers, because they must ensure their client’s cargo gets from A to B safely, along with their drivers and vehicles. Numerous factors can impact whether commercial vehicle security is achieved satisfactorily, from poor locking solutions to inadequate security systems on trucks and trailers. There’s also the difficult issue of insufficient secure parking for trucks in some countries, which can lead to an increased chance of theft, whether that’s of the truck and trailer or cargo.

If such instances aren’t considered and properly prepared for, it can lead to a greater chance of assaults on drivers, theft of goods and damage to cargo and trucks during such acts. These can all lead to serious issues for fleet managers.You have to account for the missing goods, fill in insurance claims, repair damaged vehicles and keep your customers happy when their items go missing. Plus, it can lead to vehicle and driver downtime – which can be costly. When it comes to fleet and commercial vehicle security, the better prepared you are, the more secure your fleet will be.

Where do fleet security issues take place?

Vehicle and cargo theft can occur at your base, parked up when resting on the way to a delivery or at the customer’s location. According to TAPA EMEA data, nearly 80% of cargo crimes reported in May 2017 involved theft from the vehicle. In just over 5% of instances the vehicle itself was stolen, while 4% were hijacking and nearly 3% saw just the trailer stolen. This shows how important vehicle security is to reduce the chance of theft from the vehicle, mostly when it is stationary.

The average amount stolen varies depending on the exact cargo and quantity taken. In the same month there were losses of over €6 million in total, working out at an average of €48,413 – the majority of which took place in the UK and The Netherlands.[3].

How to improve fleet security on the road

You can take a number of steps to boost fleet security for drivers, trucks and trailers, ranging from physical improvements to using digitised solutions that will make the process smoother and easier, while also improving security. Intelligent locking systems, for example, can allow you to remotely control who can open trailers, while drivers can be trained to take precautions that lower the risk of theft.

It’s also possible to monitor your trailers from base with the use of telematics systems, allowing you to see the status of the cargo in real time. Communication with your drivers has never been easier, allowing you to check in and relay important information too. With the right mix of solutions, you can make a big difference and benefit from greater fleet security.