Unfortunately, cargo theft presents a considerable problem in the shipping industry. This is largely because from the completion of manufacturing until their purchase by the consumer, goods are most vulnerable to theft during transit.

Preventing cargo theft relies on its drivers to act responsibly and follow proper safety precautions while on the road with a shipment. By following a few simple work practices you can help ensure that your load will be delivered safely to its final destination.


Choose your routes carefully. If you transport the same type of goods to the same locations frequently, make sure to switch up the routes you take. Using the same route and stopping in the same locations can make you an easier target for thieves.


Your presence around a load may be enough to deter some thieves, as most are looking for a quick and easy target. The less time you leave your lorry unattended, the better. If you are driving with a partner, one of you should always stay with the lorry during stops.

Lock it up

Physical barriers are some of the best ways to prevent theft. Make sure you aggressively implement anti-theft features such as king pin locks, locking bars and air break locks.

Keep a Secret

Whether you’re stopped, on the radio or anywhere else, don’t talk about the contents of your load with others. Statistics show thieves target specific goods over others so it’s best not to alert them to your cargo’s potential value.

Let Someone Know

Make sure you let someone know where you’re going. In addition to staying in regular contact with your dispatcher, contact a family member, friend or other co-worker and alert them of your route plans. If they don’t hear from you at agreed upon time, they will know they need to alert the authorities.

If You Are Targeted By Thieves

Remember that no amount of money is worth dying over. If you are in a situation where it is either your cargo or your life, always cooperate. If you are approached directly by thieves and feel that you are in danger, stay calm and comply with their demands. Concentrate on remembering as many details as possible about the event so you can help investigators later.

In the aftermath a theft, contact local police and your supervisor as soon as possible

For assistance on any of our Risk Management services please contact our Head of Risk Management Joe Hanna on jhanna@willisinsurance.co.uk   

If you would like us to look at bespoke fleet, liability and goods in transit policies for your business contact our Transport & Haulage specialist Marc Rice on mrice@willisinsurance.co.uk

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