Jonathan Edewards

Warehouses, Factories, and Shipments face Higher Theft Risk during Holidays

Since most businesses are closed for extended periods over the holidays, and people are preoccupied with celebrations, businesses are especially vulnerable to theft over the Christmas weekend.

Protect your business by taking precautions beforehand.

Recommendations for Shipments via Truck:


  • Secure your lot.  High-value cargo should be staged in an extra secure compound (for example, the compound should have a chain link fence of 9-gauge material at least 8 feet high and topped with barbed wire, properly anchored).
  • Use a Security Patrol in your lot.
  • Secure trailers while they are being staged. King Pin Locks and landing gear locks are recommended, with high security locks on the cargo doors.

On the Road

  • Close truck doors before pulling out into open view in the lot so that surveillance efforts cannot see what has been loaded on to departing trucks.
  • Ensure your “Red Zone” is implemented.  A minimum “Red Zone” of 200 to 250 miles. (The Red Zone area is the distance wherein the driver does not stop after pick-up).
  • Encourage open internal communications and the reporting of any “out of norm” occurrences.
  • Drivers should remain vigilant and maintain communication with their dispatch during extended stops at high risk areas such as truck stops and rest areas.
  • Drivers and warehouse workers should not discuss any details regarding loads with anyone; specifically drop locations, routes, or contents.
  • Consider a no-drop policy, keeping the trailer married to the tractor so that the tractor and trailer can be secured.
  • Air Cuff® Locks  or other are recommended for securing tractors anytime the driver is away from the truck

Additional On-the-Road Security

  • For High Value / High Target Loads, consider using covert tracking devices which will enable geo-fencing during stops and tracking in the event of a theft. Employ theft prevention devices to disable fuel, hydraulic, and/or electrical systems.
  • Shippers that utilize covert tracking systems should geo-fence and route fence staged loads.
  • Consider installing a sensor to alarm the driver when the trailer door is breached.

Recommendations for Warehouses & Manufacturing/Distribution Facilities:

Warehouse Personnel

  • Instruct warehouse personnel never to divulge any proprietary codes, passwords or identification numbers to anyone, especially over the telephone. Send repeated communications regarding this policy and its enforcement.
  • Warehouse workers and drivers should not discuss any details regarding the warehouse contents.
  • Keep loading bay doors closed in order to prevent surveillance efforts from seeing what items might be on the loading docks.
  • Encourage open internal communications and the reporting of any “out of norm” occurrences.
  • Consider implementing a procedure to authorize employees to question any unfamiliar person on the property.
  • Review all physical security protocols as well as vendor/contractor access to the premises, particularly after normal business hours.

Basic Security

  • Connect with the security system provider and confirm the conversation with them. Request a representative come to the facility to conduct any resets and/or have a pre-designated password with the alarm company that they can use to verify sharing of information.
  • Review documentation and contracts in place with the contracted alarm company, paying particular attention to scheduled maintenance, system access and alarm response protocols. Obtain written confirmation from the alarm company that line security of all burglar alarms is in full service and will remain in service for the duration of the contract.
  • Confirm that alarm monitoring personnel have accurate contact lists and phone numbers for employees responsible for reacting to intrusion alarm signals. It is important that everyone know their duty in the event of an emergency.
  • Perform random security alarm tests each month. Update alarm call lists and require designated personnel to respond to ALL alarm calls, even if there is a suspected system malfunction. Never enter the building until police response has arrived.

Travelers Insurance Company has an especially good Specialty Investigations Group to investigate and recover stolen shipments, and their Loss Control department actively help business owners prevent theft losses.