Thefts from trucks on the rise: 3 ways to protect your goods

By Maxim Perry, VP Sales & Product Starcom Systems


The facts on the ground

In a recently published The BSI and TT Club Cargo Theft Report 2020 report, the number of goods stolen in transit rose significantly between 2018 and 2019 from 29% to 37%. Hijacking rose from 17% to being the biggest single source of thefts at 26% and theft from vehicles staying at 20% in second place. A further alarming statistic showed that the theft of the entire vehicle had risen from the smallest reported instances in 2018 to the third highest at 16% in 2019. The one trend that has not changed that both years showed that around 85% of all goods stolen are stolen from trucks.


Other significant trends showed that the types of goods being stolen had shifted and grown most in food and beverages and electronics. Theft in the Americas had increased also in average values by 25% where the rest of the world had seen some decreases. Globally the number of incidents of theft in 2019 stood at a staggering 8 per day.


No matter how much security is put in place at depots, warehouses and premises, good in transit remains a major weak point in the supply chain. So how can businesses better equip themselves to protect against thefts in transit? Starcom Systems has been dedicated to solving these problems and offer 3 solutions.


1: Smart Locks

A good lock is the first line of defense, but locks can be breached. Lokies and Watchlock Cube were developed to offer intelligent capabilities beyond a simple mechanical padlock.


Lokies is a keyless smart lock. The lock is released via Bluetooth or remotely via an app or web app. This means that the driver does not need to carry a key. With user management and reporting opening of the lock is monitored and recorded down to the user. Real time alerts can be set and sent alerting on when the locks are opened. 


Watchlock Cube slips over a variety of standard C10 padlocks – meaning no changing of locks or installation. Both Lokies and Watchlock Cube have tracking capabilities.


With full GPS and Cellular tracking, the cargo’s location can be monitored. Alerts can be set for a number of instances that are extraordinary. These include:

  • Geofencing – if the vehicle leaves a designated area meaning a deviation from expected area
  • No Motion – if the vehicle stops for longer than expected this could mean it is being robbed or hijacked
  • Breach – if the lock is tampered with or someone is attempting to break into the lock


2: Track your shipments in transit

Regardless of the locks you use, you can still track your goods in transit, whether it be an entire container or specific goods or boxes. Knowing location at any time is important, but knowing deviations or changing conditions or even openings in real time provides another weapon against the theft of your goods in transit.


For entire containers, including refrigerated containers for use especially for foods and beverages, the Tetis family of trackers can track in real time location, conditions and openings of the container. For smaller cargo or even single items you can use Kylos.


Both Tetis and Kylos track goods location in real time; and, both can provide real time alerts for deviations from the expected route. Tetis is fitted to containers and can accurately detect temperature changes down to + / – 0.2°C. Any changes can trigger a real time alert to email and / or SMS. Not only looking after the perishable or sensitive produce inside but could also indicate the container has been opened. The same applies to changes in humidity and light, which could also indicate the container has been opened. 


Kylos may be smaller, but it can also detect changes in conditions, such as light and send a real time alert to email and / or SMS and can function under extreme cold or hot conditions. It can even track goods if they are moved by air. With a 3 year battery life it can be used over and over again. The units come in rechargeable or disposable  versions. 


Kylos Compact can be used by drivers. Along with all the tracking capabilities it also has a panic button that can alert in an emergency situation. 


3: Track your fleet

Helios is an advanced fleet tracking system with a range of units from compact enough to fit on motorcycles and kick scooters (requiring very little power) to full range units that track on GPS and Cellular networks. Helios provides a wealth of information back to the base allowing full transparency and reporting to the fleet manager. Like all the other products mentioned a wide range of customizable real time alerts can be set up. The Helios optional extras include numeric keypads for driver IDs and driver-to-base voice communications.


Combatting Thefts in Transit

By using state of the art smart tracking technology you can minimize the risks of theft. You can get alerted in real time of potential thefts in progress and should your goods be stolen you can continue to track them after. In fact, recently the Malay Army managed to track and return an Army Vehicle that was stolen thanks to Helios. Be aware and keep safe, from all of us at Starcom Systems.