Logistics security services provider FreightWatch International reports it has notice an unusually high rate of violations of best practices by carriers for in-transit cargo security this quarter.

“Integral to lowering risk is the adherence to the practice of never stopping in the ‘red zone,’ defined as the first 200 miles from the shipment’s origin,” read a recent FreightWatch bulletin. “In the past three weeks, there have been three full truckload thefts reported in the United States directly attributed to staging cargo within the red zone.”

FreightWatch is studying how thieves operated in these incidents, including geographical patterns and organized criminal involvement. It noted that, historically, a vast majority of cargo theft occurs within the first 200 miles of transport, and these thefts continue to follow that pattern.

FreightWatch recommends all shippers, third-party logistics providers and carriers ensure they are following best practices for in-transit security.

“Drivers should arrive well-rested, with enough DOT hours for at least four hours of driving and with properly-fueled tractors, enough to traverse far outside of the ‘red zone’ before stopping,” the company noted. “If your operating model permits, shippers and 3PLs should turn away drivers who cannot exit the ‘red zone’.”

Emergency stops within a “red zone” should be carefully monitored with constant communication between the driver, and over-watch service should be strictly enforced.

“Lastly, unattended staging, for any length of time, in the ‘red zone’ should be avoided at all costs.   Should it be the only option, drivers should ensure the conveyance is parked in a well-lit, secured area with the trailer backed to a permanent fixture or natural obstacle, and employ sound technology such as brake locks, fuel cut-offs, and covert GPS tracking with active monitoring,” stated FreightWatch.