Trucks and the people who work with them play a critical role in every supply chain. In the United States, trucks carry around 70% of all freight tonnage, while in Australia, trucks transport 30% of domestic freight. Everyday, hardworking truck drivers are responsible for carrying billions of dollars’ worth of cargo. Unfortunately, however, the cargo doesn’t always arrive intact, and in some cases it doesn’t arrive at all. 

Theft, accidents, and inclement weather conditions are just some of the reasons why cargo gets damaged or goes missing while being transported. That’s why truck drivers, along with warehouse and factory workers, need to be ready for any eventuality and prep the truck properly for long journeys. Here are just some of the ways you can keep your own cargo safe on the road.

Keep Your Cargo Covered

Use nondescript but high-quality truck tarps to cover your cargo. Nothing tempts thieves more than those famous brand logos advertising high-value goods. Aside from theft prevention, tarps offer great, lightweight protection against the elements. They keep the goods dry from the rain and keep most of the ultraviolet rays from the sun from penetrating and damaging your cargo.

Use Dunnage or Dunnage Bags

Spaces in between cargo can cause it to shift while in transit. Fill these spaces up with inexpensive dunnage or dunnage bags to prevent the cargo from shifting, as well as to act as buffer against the hard floors and walls of a shipping container or closed truck. 

Insert Chocks and Wedges 

If you’re transporting round or cylindrical cargo that have a tendency to roll, use chocks and wedges to keep them stable. A variety of cargo chucks are available for different types of cargo, from round and spherical objects to irregular-shaped items.

Secure Cargo With Tie-Downs

There are many variations of tie-downs available depending on your needs. The simplest are ropes and cords, but for commercial and large-scale cargo, you need heavy-duty tarps or chains to ensure a secure tie-down. What’s more, it’s recommended that you have at least 2 tie-downs holding a single cargo in place no matter how small it is, or at least one tie-down for every 10 feet of long cargo.

Blocking and Bracing the Cargo

There is no one way to block and brace a cargo, as the race structure or device wholly depends on the particular item you’re loading on the truck. However, the ultimate goal is to prevent that cargo from sliding and shifting while in transit. 

Use Divider Sheets

Divider sheets or separator sheets are applied in between layers of goods to prevent slippage and shifting. You can choose from a variety of divider sheets that come with different features such as added grip or moisture-proof coatings. Each offers a distinct advantage to make sure your cargo stays put.

Install Cargo Theft Alarms

With cargo theft costing billions of dollars, there is new-generation technology available that aims to keep thieves off your precious items. These innovations include theft alarms that may involve a complex mechanism for a more robust security, thus protecting the cargo not just while in transit, but also during loading and unloading at different facilities.

Stay Within the Working Load Limit

Lifting tools and equipment used in loading cargo as well as the tie-downs used for securing the cargo on the truck has a corresponding safe range of WLL or Working Load Limit. To ensure these tools and tie-downs don’t break, you have to make sure that the load is well within the limit specified in the label or manual of each tool.

Cargo theft and damage are serious issues that plague every industry’s supply chain. To combat these problems, all the players involved, from the truck driver to the warehouse and factory workers, must be vigilant in observing the best practices for securing cargo. In the end, everyone will benefit from a productive and profitable industry, including not just the workers but also the buyers and consumers.