Holiday Awareness (Thanksgiving)

Holiday Awareness (Thanksgiving)

Intelligence & Response Manager
Intelligence & Response Manager

In addition to thoroughly vetting all brokers, carriers, and drivers, and documenting all necessary details for each shipment, shippers should confirm in advance if the receiver’s hours of operation will be affected by the holiday and adjust any schedules as needed to avoid unnecessary staging. For over the road shipments, any stops made over the holiday period should be in well lit, secured areas with trailer doors backed to a solid surface, if possible, while facilities should ensure all security systems are functioning properly. Immediate escalation with a path to effectively engage law enforcement is critical to recovering stolen cargo.

Date: 11/13/2023

As Thanksgiving approaches on Thursday, November 23, shippers across the United States should be aware and plan accordingly for limited holiday hours over the long holiday weekend and how it may affect their shipments. 

Holiday hours of operations for all receiving facilities should be confirmed before loads scheduled to deliver between November 20th and 24th are allowed to depart. Thieves know that cargo will be left unattended for extended durations during this time and will use the opportunity to obtain targeted and high value merchandise. Specifically, receiving facilities for big box stores will see trailers staged outside of the facility targeted for pilferage or straight theft.  

In years past long holiday weekends have recorded cargo theft rates significantly higher than the rest of the year. During Labor Day holidays of the last 5 years, Overhaul recorded an average theft rate of 4.0 thefts per day, a 48% spike over typical theft rates.  

Of note in 2023 is the prevalence and spread of strategic thefts in all parts of the country and the increase in medium to large scale pilferage from rail. Organized cargo theft crews are practicing fraudulent and deceptive methods to obtain freight under the guise of legitimate business, and a holiday weekend can provide a longer lead time before the theft is discovered.  

Distribution centers and warehouses will also be targeted more aggressively during this time as the extended holiday often means limited if not zero operations and less security staff. Additionally, the extended weekend can provide a longer lead time before the discovery of a break in.  

Shippers of targeted cargo, such as consumer electronics, high end clothing and footwear, alcohol, and cost dense food items should be especially diligent in preparing for the upcoming holiday period.  

Overhaul’s Recommendation: 

In addition to thoroughly vetting all brokers, carriers, and drivers, and documenting all necessary details for each shipment, shippers should confirm in advance if the receiver’s hours of operation will be affected by the holiday and adjust any schedules as needed to avoid unnecessary staging.  

For over the road shipments, any stops made over the holiday period should be in well lit, secured areas with trailer doors backed to a solid surface, if possible, while facilities should ensure all security systems are functioning properly. Immediate escalation with a path to effectively engage law enforcement is critical to recovering stolen cargo. 

The Overhaul LE Connect network provides law enforcement in the area with all the pertinent details needed to facilitate recovery within minutes of a confirmed theft. It is recommended for drivers to stay vigilant and avoid leaving their vehicles unattended for any amount of time. Overhaul recommends companies take advantage of real time transportation visibility platforms that can aid in the recovery of stolen cargo. 

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