The Freight Transport Association (FTA) said additional drivers, hired-in vehicles, as well as new rosters and routes all provide opportunities for theft.
Bill Pownall, motor risk manager for Norwich Union, said: “As more goods are moved across the country to cater for the pre-Christmas demand, criminals are on the lookout for easy-pickings from lorry trailers and other commercial vehicles, including vans.”
A number of recent incidents have been reported including attempts to pick up ‘returns’ from retail premises, where criminals are turning up with fake paperwork providing authorisation for collection.
”A driver being distracted so that their vehicle can be stolen is another problem, as is the occasional vehicle jacking,” said Mr Pownall.
“Although events such as this are rare, it underlines the fact that drivers need to stay alert for their own personal safety, as well as the security of their loads.
"In addition, both managers and traffic clerks should take into account the need for secure parking for vehicles carrying high value or high risk loads, particularly when deciding on timings and routes.
When temporary staff are used, it is advised that effective driver vetting and licence validation is essential.