Stop Loss 12 - Theft Attractive Cargoes

There have been a large number of well-publicised losses in the past two or three years of goods which could be described as “theft attractive cargoes”. These would normally include such items as mobile telephones, computer chips and hard discs, sports equipment and other valuable items.

Most of these goods require extra care in their storage and transportation and also in the type of equipment used to move them. It is the duty of the transport operator to take care of his customersʼ cargo and the suggestions below may help in providing that extra care required for these types of cargoes.

  • Where a driver accompanied vehicle is used, it is recommended that the vehicle be equipped with a theft alarm, immobiliser and, if practicable, a means of direct communication, for example a mobile telephone or two-way radio. Whenever the vehicle is unattended, the driver should always ensure that the theft alarm and immobiliser are activated, the ignition key removed and all doors and windows locked.
  • A trailer or container should always be properly sealed with appropriate seals. Proper records, including recording of seal numbers, should be kept at all interchanges of the freight transport unit.
    Goods should be carried in freight transport units that do not carry product logos, brand names or other product or manufacturerʼs identification.
  • Where a freight transport unit needs to be parked for a period longer than normal convenience breaks this should be at a secure location, for example in a fenced and guarded vehicle park with continuous surveillance or on the closed freight deck of a ship.
  • If an articulated freight transport unit is used, a loaded trailer should not be disconnected from the tractor unit during the carriage except for an immediate changeover of tractor unit. If immediate transfer is not possible, a kingpin lock should be used.
  • If, for operational or safety reasons, it is necessary to disconnect the trailer from the tractor unit, the trailer should be left either at a secure location, or at loading or discharge premises where full liability for the cargo is accepted by the operator of the premises. Again, a kingpin lock should be used.
  • It is recommended that carriage of theft attractive cargo be planned so as to maximise security and minimise the possibility of loss. Where transport is by road the customer should, if appropriate, be given a written extra cost option of contracting on the basis of two drivers working with a single vehicle.
  • A documented operating procedure for the carriage of theft attractive cargoes should be considered. If a procedure of this type is adopted, all reasonable measures should be taken to ensure that it is followed. The operating procedure should include a documented system to identify operating problems and the steps taken to deal with them.

(The reason for this is that if a company can show it has a properly documented and enforced quality procedure, it is easier to deflect attempts by claimants to break limits on the grounds of gross negligence).

TT Club regional centres are able to give guidance on documented systems.

Selection of a subcontractor for the carriage of theft attractive cargoes

We recommend that principal carriers satisfy themselves that, in all instances, their nominated subcontractors are able to provide services of the same standard and that they supply written evidence of their insurance. Be careful if the subcontractorsʼ trading conditions or insurance are inferior to your own as recoveries may be restricted.

To assist Members a draft subcontracting questionnaire has been devised to assist in the selection process. This questionnaire is also to be found as a Word file on the TT Club website.

Subcontractorsʼ Questionnaire

Company details

1 The full name of the company
2 Date of foundation
3 Registered & operational addresses
4 Telephone, fax, e-mail, etc

Legal & Professional information

5 Parent, Subsidiary and Affiliate companies 6 State licences with renewal dates
7 Membership of professional Associations or Organisations
8 Details of the companyʼs trading conditions
9 Details and a copy of the companyʼs liability insurance policy
10 Details of any subcontracting programme


11 List of the companyʼsʼ facilities and equipment, such as:
- secure buildings and lock up facilities
- specialist vehicles and equipment (owned, leased or rented)
12 Agreement to the survey of the companyʼsʼ warehouse or equipment


13 Directorsʼ names and personal experience of the Directors and senior staff
14 Name of the company, or nominated, lawyer
15 List of other clients and any letters of recommendation
16 Policy for driver recruitment and training
17 Security measures and procedures
18 Arrangements for the maintenance and servicing of owned and leased equipment

Experience and Expertise

19 Claims record (last 3 or 5 years)
20 Record of any unsettled customs authority claims

Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited and TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited, trading as the TT Club. TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited, registered in the UK (Company number: 02657093) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. In Hong Kong, TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and in Australia by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. In the United States, TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is approved as a surplus lines insurer in all states and is accessible through properly licensed surplus lines brokers. The registered offices are: 90 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 4ST.

Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited, registered in Bermuda (Company number: 1750) is authorised and regulated in Bermuda by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. 

The UK VAT Identification number for Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited is: GB 564 5244 35 and for TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is: GB 564 3375 30. The Italian VAT Identification number for TT Club Mutual Ltd is: 03627210101.

You are currently offline. Some pages or content may fail to load.