Publish Date: April 4, 2023
Author: Seubert
Tags: Blog - SeubertU

Is Your Cargo at Risk of Theft?

Cargo thefts in the United States and Canada increased 20% from 2021 to 2022, resulting in an estimated $223 million in cargo stolen, according to Verisk’s cargo theft and prevention recovery network CargoNet. The most stolen commodities were household goods (e.g., appliances, furniture, tools and toys) and electronics (e.g., computers and televisions).

Almost half of all reported cargo thefts occurred in California, Texas and Florida—with California experiencing a 41% increase in thefts year over year. This can be attributed to a significant increase in theft activity around major intermodal hubs. In fact,California is a major logistics hub for computer and green energy components, which were some of the most frequently stolen items in 2022. Georgia also saw a 34% increase year over year in cargo theft, likely resulting from the increased traffic to the Port of Savannah and the state’s shutdown of its cargo theft investigation task force in 2020.

In 2022, there was a 600% year-over-year increase in fictitious cargo pickups. This fast-growing form of cargo theft involves thieves using phony credentials to pick up shipments before the legitimate carrier does and redirect them to a different address.

To prevent cargo theft, brokers and shippers should take the following precautions:

  • Verify the name of the motor carrier and the driver with the contact information on file with the Federal Motor CarrierSafety Association.
  • Vet new customers that offer payment through peer-to-peer money transfer apps prior to accepting payment and transferring goods.
  • Never leave trailers loaded and unattended, especially in high cargo theft areas.
  • Use high-security rear door locks and air cuff locks.
  • Install landing gear locks.
  • Conduct regular training and awareness events for employees.
  • As cargo theft becomes more commonplace, it’s essential for companies to implement policies and procedures to minimize such events.