Drugs stolen while trucker changed his clothes recovered thanks to hidden GPS

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

FreightWatch: GPS a must for trucks carrying pharma cargo
FreightWatch: GPS a must for trucks carrying pharma cargo

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A shipment of drugs stolen while a truck driver went home to change his clothes were recovered in half an hour thanks to a GPS tracking device embedded in the cargo.

The incident took place earlier this month according to US logistics security contractor FreightWatch International, which reported that a truck carrying a shipment of pharmaceuticals originating in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico was stolen while parked at a rest stop in Elkton, Florida.

FreightWatch said the theft occurred when the driver “left the truck and container to go home and change clothes​.”

After the incident was reported the logistics contractor was able to give law enforcement precise details of the stolen truck’s location thanks to a covert global posting system (GPS) device hidden in the shipment.

GPS tracking

As a result, Florida police recovered the cargo just 36 minutes after it was reported stolen according to FreightWatch, which said the incident highlights the importance of using technology to secure pharmaceutical supply chains.

In the event cargo is left unattended, a certainty for solo drivers, the ability to provide real-time, accurate location coordinates to law enforcement is an essential component of a successful recovery​.”

The organisation added that: “Pharmaceuticals ​continue to be a highly targeted commodity, with Theft of Full Truckload​ reported in 75% of Pharmaceuticals​ thefts making it the most common type of event. 

The average value of Pharmaceuticals thefts over the last 12 months was $222,000. Violations of security best practices, including stopping within the Red Zone and a solo driver tasked to a Pharmaceuticals shipment left unattended, were major contributors to this theft.”

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