Security consulting firm says 2011 saw big increases in cargo theft

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | 1/25/2012

The good news is most cargo theft incidents don’t involve violence.

And for the bad news – cargo theft continues to rise at about 8 percent a year in total number of cargo theft incidents.

FreightWatch International, a freight security consulting firm, recently published a report on 2011 cargo theft in the U.S.

Violence is a factor in only one percent of cargo theft incidents, the report says, even as cargo theft occurs more frequently every year.

FreightWatch recorded 974 cargo theft incidents in the U.S. last year – up 8 percent from 2010 and the highest recorded number of thefts on record.

With 254 thefts last year, California nearly doubled Florida’s cargo theft total. Other top states among cargo theft incident numbers include New Jersey, Texas, Georgia and Illinois.

Weekends continue to show the highest number of cargo theft incidents. 

Food and drinks topped the cargo category for the second year in a row, with electronics (17 percent), building/industrial cargo (14 percent), clothing/shoes (9 percent) and home/garden (8 percent) rounding out the top five.

The average value of stolen loads for electronics and pharmaceuticals – the two highest values – continue to drop.

FreightWatch says theft by deception is a rapidly emerging trend in cargo theft.

“2011 saw a rash of pickups by deception (fictitious),” FreightWatch said in the report.

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