Every transport company knows the risks associated with carrying high-value cargo. Big-ticket items shipped via truck can become easy targets for thieves, which is one of the most visible types of loss. For extremely large, unwieldy, bulky, or very fragile items, that’s not the only issue drivers face, though. Read on to find out about the risks that face haulers of high-value cargo and how they can best be mitigated.
1. Avoid Traffic Risks to Overdimensional Loads
It’s often the case that high-value cargo is also exceptionally large and unwieldy. Transporting oversize or overweight loads safely requires taking some extra steps that aren’t necessary for managing ordinary jobs. Hiring a pilot car service is the first step to take. Companies and owner-operators with the right equipment shouldn’t have to turn down jobs due to concerns about safety or meeting state and federal regulations. Using pilot cars means they don’t have to.
2. Provide Proper Training
Everyone who will come into contact with a high-value shipment should be carefully trained in how to handle the cargo and follow any security procedures that have been put in place. Transportation companies that handle high-value cargo can’t afford to take their security protocols lightly. The total cost of cargo theft losses across the United States and Canada totaled nearly $58 million in 2021, alone, so don’t underestimate the risks. Make sure everyone is on the same page about taking security seriously.
3. Plan the Route Carefully
Route planning is always important, regardless of what type of cargo a transportation company hauls. That said, it’s even more important when the cargo is exceptionally high-value, and thus high-risk. The ideal route will keep the cargo on the road for as short a period of time as possible without forcing drivers to take unsafe measures such as skipping mandatory breaks.
4. Proper Preparation for Transit
All types of cargo should be secured appropriately before transit, but that’s particularly true for high-value goods. If the products in transit can’t be carried in an enclosed trailer, the use of strapping, banding, corner boards, and shrinkwrapping can all go a long way towards providing an extra level of safety and security. These measures ensure that nothing will fall off the truck, either literally or proverbially.
5. Leverage Technology
Modern technology companies have created all kinds of active and passive security devices that can be used to protect high-value cargo while in transport. Geo-fencing, tamper alarms, light and vibration sensors, and many other products are available. Transportation companies shouldn’t hesitate to use them, even if it means investing in new tech. The same products can be used to protect other high-value goods in the future.
6. Protect Company Interests
Not even the most carefully designed and implemented safety and security plan can reduce the risk of thefts, accidents, and cargo damage to zero, so it’s important for transportation companies to protect their own interests as well as the goods they are moving. Make sure there is a sufficient insurance policy in place to cover the true value of the cargo in the event of catastrophic losses.
Greater Risk Comes With Greater Rewards
Smaller transportation companies and independent owner-operators often balk at the idea of taking on high-value contracts, but they shouldn’t. While it’s true that ensuring the safety and security of these goods takes some extra preparation, the rewards make it all well worth the time and money.