The Real Grinch: Fraudulent Carriers

GTZ Blog Post, Logistics Best Practices

There is a transportation industry crime fit for The Grinch this holiday season: fraudulent carriers. Fraudulent carriers know how to take advantage of shippers during a particularly vulnerable time of need – last minute order fulfillment during the holiday season.

Cargo theft reportedly increases by 40% during holiday weekends as more freight shipments are on the road to meet the anticipated rush of holiday shoppers. Black Friday and the weekend after Thanksgiving often see record levels of freight theft. However, many of these shipping scams aren’t the traditional cargo heists you see in the news – they are much more sophisticated. With fake paperwork, an MC number and a truck in tow, these fake carriers look like legitimate businesses. But you’ll soon come to realize you’ve been scammed and your freight is nowhere to be found

Here’s a holiday demand fulfillment nightmare some organizations know all too well:

A retailer is out of your product, and you need to get it back on the shelves as soon as possible. Otherwise, your competitors are going to fill your section and take a slice of your holiday pie. Here’s the rub: your last-minute shipping request can’t be fulfilled by your trusted carriers; they’re booked through the New Year. But suddenly, a holiday miracle appears. You find a carrier that can take the order. The rates are higher, but that’s okay. You’ll do whatever it takes to restock those shelves and reclaim a piece of that coveted lemon meringue.

You breathe a sigh of relief and let out a holiday cheer, but the celebration doesn’t last long. Your worst fear has come to life. The order never made it from your warehouse to the destination. Just as The Grinch stole presents from the citizens of Whoville on Christmas Eve, your cargo is gone without a trace. But in this story, The Grinch doesn’t find joy or compassion and return your load. The freight is stolen, and the police are left with very few leads to go on as the truckers ride off into the snowy night.

Cargo thefts skyrocket during the holiday season. According to FreightWatch International, there were 193 cargo thefts in the third quarter of 2016, and that number is expected to rise. Last quarter, CargoNet received 447 reports of theft incidents and of this number, 309 involved theft of a motor vehicle, 201 involved theft of cargo and 35 were incidents of fraud. Thefts go beyond your traditional high-value products, like electronic devices. Food and beverage thefts, like nuts (which accounted for 35% of thefts in the third quarter of 2016!) are becoming more and more desirable because they cannot be traced by a pin, RFID tag or serial number.

There is only one way to protect your organization from risk this holiday season, and that is meticulous due diligence on your end.

Desperate times should not call for desperate measures. Compliance standards and protocols should not be ignored in the name of fast shipping. Con artists are patiently waiting to attack, which is why we can’t over stress the importance of strict carrier compliance standards.

At GlobalTranz, we take compliance very seriously. In fact, we have some of the strictest carrier compliance standards in the industry.

To mitigate risk and keep your shipments safe year-round, you must develop stringent requirements for your carriers. Before moving any of your freight, be sure to carefully select your carrier based on these pre-defined qualifications. Make sure they practice safe and careful practices when transporting your load to ensure nothing is compromised along the way.

Do your homework – validate their DOT or MC number and insurance information. When your trucker and carrier arrive, inspect the vehicle, interview the driver and record all information about the truck, driver and cargo load. Fraudulent carriers are creative and sneaky. They will create fake companies, doctor up insurance information and secure a license – making it more difficult for you to spot a scam. Verify the accounts and conduct a proper background check to make sure the truck driver and the carrier company is legitimate and trustworthy.

If you’re just too busy to take on this due diligence yourself, work with a reputable freight brokerage company like GlobalTranz. We have a trusted set of carrier partners who have been thoroughly vetted, and we have the logistics technology and team to actively monitor your freight shipment from pickup to safe delivery.

Don’t let fraudulent carriers rob you of your holiday cheer – and profits! Use extra caution when booking freight shipments over the next few weeks. If you’re looking for reliable, trustworthy carriers or a full-service freight brokerage, reach out to the GlobalTranz experts. We can manage your LTL, TL or expedited shipping needs through our in-house team or our nationwide network of top freight agents.

Safe shipping and happy holidays!