Preventing Marine Cargo Theft


Preventing Marine Cargo Theft

How can marine manufacturers and cargo businesses prevent marine cargo theft and what steps can they take to implement safety measures? Such incidents are rising, and criminals are becoming increasingly bolder and more creative in their tactics. Worse still, the range of targeted items is ever-expanding, encompassing everything from food to retail merchandise and even high-end electronics.

What can anyone do to prevent these occurrences? Do business owners even stand a chance of stopping them? Thankfully, marine insurance will cover the cost of repair and replacement of marine manufacturers if they lose high-value items to criminal activity, vandalism, and natural disasters.

But it shouldn’t end there. As widespread as cargo theft is, there are recourses available to would-be victims. Awareness of some of the most common methods employed by criminals could help marine manufacturers avoid damage and loss. Here are some of the more common tactics to look out for:

Physical Theft

The most common form of theft is straight or physical theft. It involves physically removing items from their legitimate storage location. These incidents typically occur in truck stops, parking lots, roadside spots, storage lots, and other places where cargo is often unattended.

Preventing these occurrences involves adopting a comprehensive security approach. Someone should constantly monitor loaded trailers, particularly in places where crimes frequently occur.

Using locks is a must. For maximum security, they should equip trailers with robust air-cuff locks. If necessary,

it is wise to install landing gear locks.

Complex Strategies 

More sophisticated cargo thefts employ complex strategic methods, which often rely on fraud and deception. Criminals may pose as legitimate carriers, fooling shippers and carriers into turning cargo over to them. Others may resort to identity theft, fake pick-ups, “double brokering”, or any combination of these tactics.

Marine manufacturers should be equally sophisticated in their approach to combating these crimes. Consistent and thorough vetting of carriers is a must, particularly those they are working with for the first time.

Technology-based Crimes 

Technology-based crimes have increased in frequency and severity over the past several years. Using “sniffers” to detect GPS devices makes it possible to jam the signal, preventing law enforcement personnel from tracking them.


Even cybercriminals have gotten in on the act. Phishing emails can carry malware that spreads throughout a company’s computer network, allowing unauthorized access to crucial data. Cargo thieves could use the information they uncover to create fake pickup and transfer papers.

Marine manufacturers should bolster their cyber security systems to identify and prevent these attacks. Someone should also safeguard websites and prevent confidential information from leaking.

Preventing cargo theft requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders. From the company owner to the dispatch and delivery teams, everyone has a shared responsibility to learn how to identify such activities and take steps to prevent them.

About Merrimac Marine Insurance

At Merrimac Marine, we are dedicated to providing insurance for the marine industry to protect your clients’ business and assets. For more information about our products and programs, contact our specialists today at (800) 681-1998.