Van loaded, seat belts on, keys in the ignition; suddenly, you realise you have forgotten something. You jump out of the van, dash over to the wholesaler’s entrance, settle what you needed to do and head back to your van – only to find the windows smashed, back doors flung open, empty boxes spread across the car park and all your high-value stock gone.
This is what’s known as a goods in transit incident. All it takes is a lapse in concentration when an opportunist is on the scene to take advantage, and you could be out of pocket.
Stock is vital for your business; without it, you cannot trade efficiently. Keeping your stock protected between your local wholesaler and the shop floor can have its own set of hazards, such as damage, lost items and theft.
The Retail Mutual has compiled a list of 7 tips to help reduce goods in transit thefts.
1 – Be vigilant
Try to work in twos and keep a lookout, especially when loading and unloading your vehicle. Always check for suspicious activity before and after you go to the cash and carry – you may feel this is being over cautious, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2 – Don’t tempt thieves
Keep items out of sight – and away from the temptation of thieves. Many vans have lockable, concealed compartments especially for this purpose, but if you use a car instead, try to keep items well hidden and consider tinting your back windows to stop people from being able to see what’s inside.
3 – Lock up your stock
Always keep your vehicle locked when unattended – even if only momentarily while you’re loading and unloading. Take the keys with you and make sure all security systems such as alarms and immobilisers work properly.
Don’t leave stock in your vehicle for a long time, especially overnight, unless it is locked in secure premises like a garage or warehouse. If stock has been kept in a vehicle between the hours of 9pm and 6am and is stolen during that time, then your claim could be refused.
4 – Don’t flash the cash
You could be a potentially easy target for thieves if they think you are carrying a large amount of cash, and many will not be shy in using a weapon to threaten you to hand over money or stock.
5 – Pick your parking space
Blind spots or parking far away from your destination can play to the advantage of thieves, who will certainly be more brazen in their approach to threatening someone or stealing if there is little chance of them being seen.
You might be in a rush, but sometimes it’s worth waiting for a space to become free closer to where you have to go rather than parking somewhere less suitable.
6 – Be aware of high-value stock
If you have £20,000 worth of stock in your van but your cover limit is £5,000, you could be underinsured and £15,000 out of pocket if your stock is stolen or damaged. It is important to check with your provider what your cover limits are and take this into consideration when purchasing high-value stock. It only takes a few extra boxes of alcohol or cigarettes to push you over your cover limit without realising.
7 – Get goods in transit cover
The Retail Mutual protects thousands of independent business owners who rely on being able to transport goods in order to maintain their livelihood. Whether you are carrying stock from places such as a cash and carry, trade warehouse or stockist, any transportation of valuables can pose an opportunity for thieves. We offer £5,000 cover limit for goods in transit as standard, when you take out stock cover with The Retail Mutual.
Call. Quote. Covered.
Whether it’s stationary or on the move, The Retail Mutual helps you to keep your stock safe from thieves. Get a quote today – simply call 0333 3446 078 and speak to one of our team about your cover limits and requirements, or visit the website to start an online quote.