Tracking on the Road
You should consider GPS tracking as another layer of on-the-road security. It is essential that your company know where its loads are at all times both for security and logistics purposes.
Your carrier may tell you that it monitors every shipment by a satellite tracking system mounted in or on the tractor. While this type of system has its merits, it is designed to track truck diagnostics, truck location and driver behavior, not the trailer or cargo inside the trailer. Also, one of the first things that cargo thieves do when stealing a load is to disable this type of device by covering, disconnecting or destroying the satellite antenna.
GPS tracking technology has advanced appreciably over the past few years. Devices were once large and cumbersome and required an antenna mounted on the outside of the conveyance. Because of the high price tag, GPS tracking was seen as a tool only for companies moving extremely valuable product; it was not used in the mainstream commercial market.
However, GPS tracking devices are no longer large and expensive, and they don’t require external antennas. Now as small as a wireless phone, tracking devices can be covertly packed within a pallet, have battery capacity to last a month, and are “smart” enough to alert the end-user when and if there is a problem. GPS devices can be purchased for as little as $400 per device, with a software and data package (per device) starting at $60 per month. Some companies can average this cost to be approximately $100 per shipment.
There are numerous benefits to remote monitoring of your company’s cargo. GPS tracking makes you aware of cargo that remains too long in one location (remember: “cargo at rest is cargo at risk”). You are alerted if the conveyance carrying your cargo is opened or deviates from a predetermined route. If cargo containing a GPS tracking device is stolen and your company is using a reputable monitoring service, the police in that jurisdiction can receive the exact location of the stolen cargo, which will increase the likelihood of recovery.
Before You Ship
When an approved carrier arrives at your facility to pick up a shipment, employees working the gate should inspect the vehicle and trailer and record important information about the driver, tractor and trailer. This information can be used later in the event of a theft.
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