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Food is easy to move for a good price. Unlike electronics, it has no serial numbers and doesn’t have to be electronically pinged to be activated; and tTe evidence is destroyed soon after it’s stolen. Others in the top 10 include fashion items, building materials and pharmaceutical drugs. In addition to the types of cargo being

stolen, Northland also understands how cargo is being stolen. Old-fashioned straight cargo theft, where thieves simply steal the assets, remains the most common method, but other types of strategic theft, including cyber-crime- related thefts, are common. Among the types of strategic thefts are:

• Identity theft, where thieves steal the identity of a legitimate trucking company, represent themselves as that company on an internet load board, bid on loads, obtain them and disappear. Ten the legitimate carrier receives a phone call from a shipper wondering what happened to the load.

• Fictitious pickup, where a legitimate carrier is hired to pick up a load and then arrives to find that the thieves arrived three hours earlier.

• Ghost trucks, where thieves label trucks to look like those operated by a legitimate company and then use them to pick up loads.

In another scenario, thieves will create

what appears to be a legitimate company that arranges to pick up cargo and then will stage a mechanical breakdown. As the tractor-trailer is parked for repairs, the trailer will be “stolen” by another member of the gang. When it comes to cargo theft, Northland

goes on offense. A “sting trailer” is lent to law enforcement agencies around the country. Tose agencies position the trailer, which is bristling with well-hidden recording and tracking equipment, in areas where it’s likely to be stolen. According to Robert DeMallie, Travelers director of corporate communications, the trailer has been used to help break up organized cargo rings. “It’s been extremely effective,” he said.

Northland’s experts also help their insured

clients prevent thefts. Cornell encourages carriers, shippers and receivers to maintain open communication “so that there’s no confusion and you don’t create those gaps for the bad guys to take advantage of.” Carriers should be alert for suspicious activities, such as inconsistent addresses, he said. Tey and their drivers need good processes and procedures, such as staging loads in secured areas over weekends, covert tracking of high-value loads, and high-end locking and security devices. And the sooner his group hears from clients, the more likely the load will be recovered. “We have several great stories where our insureds had a theft, called us, and within hours we were able to recover their loads, get them back to their tractors and their trailers and their load, and get them on the road and get them on the way, and you can’t find that service anyplace else,” Cornell said. Cornell said thieves change their methods

quickly, so carriers should change theirs often as well. For example, when fictitious pickups became more common, carriers began encouraging shippers to ask questions if a

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