Who can forget the 1978 Lufthansa heist immortalized in the film Goodfellas (1990) where an estimated $5.8 million was stolen from JFK airport. True, that haul consisted of mostly cash and some jewelry but unfortunately, for freight haulers servicing airports cargo theft remains an enormous issue.
TT Club, as reported by Metropolitan Airport News has the breakdown. As we enter the holiday season cargo theft numbers tend to rise, with the Wednesday before Thanksgiving being one of the most prominent heist days of the year.
The vulnerability of cargo theft is rather self-evident. There are limited travel routes that allow trucks to move freight from the airport through the major cities they service. Fun fact, most freight arrives via airport on commercial planes NOT cargo planes, so freight can’t really be moved to smaller airports further away from major cities. As such, these limited routes create a bottleneck where the cargo is easy to pickoff.
Making matters worse is the lack of available parking. Without secure parking cargo is basically out in the open until it arrives at its destination. As an example, look at trucks that must park on the shoulder of the Clearview Expressway, or service roads of the Long Island Expressway because they have no other alternatives. In December, this problem will be compounded with the ELD mandate. Now, drivers have some wiggle room to use their discretion as their hours of service runs out. Once the mandate takes effect though, drivers will pretty much have to pullover once their hours are up. Secure truck parking will improve safety, improve congestion, and will help the economy. The truck parking facility at JFK Airport is operating at capacity and that only scratches the surface of demand. Is truck parking a sexy issue? No (though we think it is), but the benefits are wide ranging. This vital issue is left out in the cold when discussing “Twenty-first century cities”, a mistake which must be rectified now.