Cargo Theft Prevention in Preparation for the 4th of July
Written By
Brooke Reiley
July 1, 2024

Cargo Theft Prevention in Preparation for the 4th of July

As cargo theft is an unpredictable year-round occurrence, the holiday seasons can be a prime time for freight thefts. With the 4th of July quickly approaching, it’s a perfect time to learn a few tips that can help prevent cargo theft. 4th of July becomes a very attractive opportunity for cargo thieves due to facilities being closed and workers and drivers being off duty.

According to theft incidents reported to the CargoNet Command Center during the 2023 July 4th holiday, there were 119 incidents reported with the top 3 targeted states being California, Texas and Florida. The top targeted commodity types were household goods, food and beverage and electronics resulting in a total loss of $3,093,752. The top targeted location types were parking lots and truck stops.

What can drivers do to avoid the cargo theft bump?

Drivers tend to want to be home for the 4th of July holiday. They may pick up a load and leave it overnight at a local truck stop or another unsecured location to go home and be with family and friends. When they return, their rig is missing or has been broken into. To avoid becoming a victim of cargo theft, here are five tips for keeping your rig and cargo safe.

1. Plan Your Route Carefully

  - Avoid high-risk areas known for cargo theft.

  - Use secure parking locations and avoid stopping in unsecured areas.

  - Plan rest stops and fuel breaks in well-lit, secure locations.

  - Try to have enough hours and fuel to drive several hours after initial pick up helping to deter

    thieves from following you.

2. Maintain Vigilance

  - Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, especially in unfamiliar areas.

  - Be cautious of vehicles or individuals acting suspiciously around your truck.

  - Avoid sharing your route or cargo details with strangers.

3. Use Security Devices

  - Equip your truck with GPS tracking devices for both the vehicle and the cargo.

  - Use high-security locks and seals on trailer doors such as king pin locks, air brake valve locks     and steering mechanism locks.

  - Consider installing alarms and surveillance cameras on your vehicle.

4. Stay Connected

  - Regularly check in with your dispatcher or company while on the road.

  - Have emergency contact numbers readily available.

  - Join a network of fellow truckers to share information about potential risks and theft hotspots.

5. Secure Your Cargo

  - Never leave your truck unattended for long periods, especially in unsecured areas.

  - Park with your trailer doors against a wall or another vehicle to limit access.

  - Conduct thorough inspections of your truck and trailer before and after each stop to ensure     everything is  secure.

What is Atlantic Logistics doing to prepare for holiday theft?

Atlantic Logistics Carrier Manager, Vikki Stark, stated that "Although these processes are part of our routine operations, we have notified staff to be especially vigilant about the commodity and value of each shipment during the holiday week. Our specialists have been directed to meticulously vet our carriers, ensure there are no changes to their information in our portal, and consistently verify phone numbers and email addresses. Additionally, we are intensifying our efforts by continuously investigating new reports for any double brokering or shipments being held hostage."

Stark also wants to remind carrier partners that insurance companies tend to not pay claims if the load is not in a secured yard, so try to avoid having your loaded trailers sit in unsecured and unattended locations, especially when employees are not present.

If you are a victim of cargo theft, make sure to notify local law enforcement immediately. Make sure to have information about your truck, registration plate information and your trailer registration handy. You can also contact the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the region where the freight was stolen as well as reporting to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA). Communication is key in the fight to stop freight theft.


Atlantic Logistics provides expedited truckload and partial service on flatbeds, stepdecks, lowbeds, vans, and reefers throughout the United States and Canada. Moving over-dimensional/over-weight freight with specialized equipment, Atlantic Logistics is an approved Department of Defense and General Services Administration broker, qualify as a woman-owned business, and are members of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA), the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association (TMSA), and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA).

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