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In-Transit Cargo Crime Impacting The Retail Supply Chain

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 10, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, July 9, 2014

by John Tabor, All States Locate


A recent survey of retail security directors showed that almost half of those polled had been the victims of a supply-chain disruption directly related to cargo theft in the past year. This is a significant increase from just five years ago.

Envision the following scenario. You are at home around 8:15 at night watching television with your wife or kids when the phone rings. The caller is one of your regional LP managers in the Southeast. He tells you that you just had a tractor load of high-end apparel worth $2,000,000 stolen in Florida while parked at a truck stop. The driver had gone in to use the facilities, and when he came out ten minutes later his tractor and trailer were gone. While no one ever wants to receive a call like this, you can be prepared for it.

In order to fully understand the issue of cargo theft, you need to know why it exists, who is perpetrating it, how you can reduce your risk, and ultimately how to react to a loss. Most of those reading this have had some level of store- or logistics-security exposure. Good loss prevention programs involve some form of a "layered" approach. Based on the exposure, some, if not all, of the following countermeasures may be employed—surveillance cameras, alarms, locks, lighting, EAS, safes, employee awareness training, and others. Loss prevention professionals would be remiss in their duties if they did not explore all of these attributes to secure their stores.

That said, remember that virtually 100 percent of the merchandise in retail stores is delivered by truck. In many cases the only two preventative measures put in place to secure that same merchandise in transit is a key to the tractor and a seal on the rear doors.

On any given night there are hundreds of thousands of loads of merchandise parked in unsecured locations around the country. This is a well-known fact to various criminal elements, from organized Cuban and Eastern European cargo-theft crews to local gangs like MS-13.

To read more, download the white paper here.


John Tabor is the principal of All States Locate, a supply chain security and logistics consulting firm based in the New York metropolitan area, providing risk mitigation strategies to retailers, shippers, and transportation companies as well as conducting cargo theft investigations and training seminars. Tabor has 25 years of experience in loss prevention, most recently as the senior security executive for a national transportation and warehousing company. He can be reached at (201) 294-6866 or jtabor@allstatesupplychain.com

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Tags:  Cargo Theft  Carton Shortages  Damage  Loss  Shortages 

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