In the eyes of one supplier, the trucking industry is only slowly pursuing the issue of trailer security, as cost remains a major stumbling block for many segments of the market.

“The research we’ve put together is that most carriers and especially owner-operators are generally not putting locks on their trailers,” Stephen Pollack, marketing manager for Kaba Mas Corp. told Fleet Owner. “That’s very alarming, especially from a cargo security standpoint, because there are valuable goods in every trailer out there.”

The recovery of two trailers stolen from Baltimore, MD-based Griffith Transportation in 2002 with the help of satellite tracking data from XTRA Lease illustrates how even mundane products are worth serious cash to thieves: one load contained canned soup, worth $80,000, and the other held just cleaning supplies, valued at $105,000.

“That’s the real factor in trailer security today: stopping cargo losses,” Steve Wolf, Kaba Mas’ director of sales and marketing, told Fleet Owner. “Cargo losses to theft are a big problem in this industry, but it’s not something that’s openly discussed. But we’re finding that once we sit down with fleets and start talking about this issue and how our product addresses it, they become very interested.”

Kaba Mas, which has provided locking mechanisms to government clients and the ATM industry among others for 15 years, markets the Gitcon G50 lock to the trucking market. Wolf said that, by and large, most of the interest in trailer locking devices is coming from fleets.

“There’s been little or no interest from owner-operators for one reason: cost,” he said. “At this time, with fuel prices so high, the independent segment of the trucking market doesn’t want to even consider adding any cost to their operation. So we’re finding the most interest coming from the big high volume fleets and even smaller fleets that haul high-value goods.”

That being said, Kaba Mas is planning to beef up its trailer security offerings over the next two years. By the end of this year, it plans to introduce an electronic seal and lock for trailers and containers, followed by a locking system with GPS capability by the end of 2005.