The National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) have made us aware of a potential increase in criminality associated with Freight Auction Websites.
With truck drivers and, therefore, truck capacity in such short supply, more and more companies are naturally turning to online freight exchanges to find available and affordable ways to move their goods.
However, the NFCU are warning everyone to be diligent and carry out the relevant checks because there are reports that criminals are stealing the identity of legitimate transport companies and then registering on freight auction websites, bidding for haulage jobs that are advertised on the auction site, winning the bid, collecting the goods and then disappearing.
What can you do?
- If you award business, make it a condition that your haulier cannot then subcontract the load to another company.
- Warn when subcontracting freight using a freight exchange, to carry out extra due diligence checks of the company to be used.
- Be alert when dealing with transport companies that have a high registration number on the website -the higher the number, the newer they are to the site.
- Be aware when there has been a recent change of ownership, company takeover or name-change.
- Always follow up on a delivery, if the truck is exceptionally late and the transport was arranged using a freight auction website: Escalate immediately, if you suspect theft, inform the Police immediately.
If you wish to read more about this issue, please take a look at the July issue of Vigilant.