Factors Affecting the Safety of Cargo

Truck drivers transport goods of substantially high value across Canada everyday. This has recently attracted the attention of small, medium, and established criminal syndicates. They steal the cargo and sell it to make a quick buck.

Today’s trends in cargo theft are characterized by high levels of organizational sophistication and complex endeavors. The situation gets worse by the day. The criminal organizations will slowly become more and more involved. Some of them are taking advantage of technology to realize even bigger returns. These thieves exhibit relentless determination in the execution of their missions. For instance, there is already a ready market for the cargo (the black market). 

Risk Factors

Certain factors greatly affect the safety of the cargo. These include:

  • The contents of your cargo
  • The destination
  • The traveling time
  • The tracking methods that you employ

We will look at each of these factors individually in more detail. Then, we will recommend an appropriate risk management approach.

Contents of the Container

The type of cargo you carry in your container has an immense impact on the safety of the cargo. Most of the time, cargo thieves find mixed loads to be very lucrative for the black-market. This type of cargo rarely uses a precise tracking method like a tracking number or unique serial number. This makes it easier for the thieves to resell the stolen cargo to the market without the potential risk of being tracked down. Generic goods like clothing and household goods are usually the main target for the cargo thieves. For instance, thieves can split something like laundry detergent into distributable portions within a short time. Then it can be easily supplied to the market and blend with the rest of one’s inventory.

Generic vs Non-Generic Goods

Generic goods as well as non-generic types of goods are both targeted these days. For example, food products and groceries are slowly becoming easy and lucrative targets for the cargo thieves in Canada. Additionally, these products are difficult to track and easy to sell. 

The Cargo’s Destination

The intensity of cargo theft in Canada varies depending on the destination to which the cargo is headed. Some cities are known to be notorious with cargo thefts while others are safe. Quebec and Ontario have the reputation of being the riskiest when it comes to cargo thefts. Targeted cities include Montreal and Toronto. Specific goods are continuously stolen in these cities due to their ease of reselling. Auto parts and metal, despite being easy to track, are lucrative for cargo thieves in Western Quebec and Eastern Ontario.

An Odd Trend in Theft

One of the specific goods being stolen in Southern Ontario are foods like meat. A highly perishable product, meat requires advanced logistics and special transportation like refrigerated trucks. With such sophistication involved, it is interesting that the cargo thieves would still pursue such perishable goods. However, the reselling of such products in the black market guarantees some lucrative returns. This justifies all the money and time that cargo thieves are willing to invest in a single heist.

Tracking Method

Some thieves are committing identify theft in order to steal cargo. Not all companies have a good tracking system in place. Faking one’s identity is easier than ever before This is because the thieves are able to find loopholes in the tracking system and explore them accordingly. For instance, the thieves log into the load brokers’ website, locate a targeted load and duplicate documents that enable them to access these targeted loads. Unless a real-time tracking system is adopted, the cargo thefts facilitated through identity thefts will continue to be a problem in Canada.

The Traveling Time

Most cargo thefts happen either during long weekends or holidays. If cargo happens to be in transport at one of these times, chances of theft are high. Stagnant cargo can be highly vulnerable to theft, especially if it is in a less secure yard. What happens is that the longer the cargo stays in transit, the more time the thieves have to execute the heist. For instance, if a load of cargo happens to be found in an insecure yard on a long weekend, the thieves will have enough time to carry out the unloading without anyone noticing.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Cargo

Therefore, this means that your cargo should always be moving to avoid any form of theft. In addition to that, one should make sure that their cargo arrives at the intended destination within the shortest time possible. This goes a long way in minimizing or even completely eliminating the possibility of a theft to occur. It is absolutely necessary to avoid any form of time-wasting when transporting cargo from one point to another because it is during these moments that thieves get the opportunity to organize themselves and carry out a theft.


We recommended that you implement a fleet management system. This will work hand in hand with other asset tracking systems to help mitigate the cyber-related risks. The losses related to cargo theft are quite high and the numbers keep rising. Fortunately, for these losses, there is a remedy. By seeking the intervention of a risk management professional, an appropriate strategy can be developed to turn things around for the better as far as the cargo theft trends go.

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