FreightWatch: Cargo theft incidents, loss values on the rise for latest quarter

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 9/25/2013

The latest analysis of reported cargo thefts in the U.S. shows an increase in both the frequency and average loss value, according to a report from FreightWatch International.

FreightWatch, which specializes in tracking supply chain information and cargo thefts around the globe, publishes its quarterly reports on a rolling basis. The latest report covers cargo thefts reported between June and August of this year. The report is compiled from U.S. theft data derived from law enforcement and industry databases.

In the report period, FreightWatch recorded a total of 202 thefts, an increase of 5 percent compared to the rolling quarter of March to May of this year. The average loss value per incident was $166,454, an increase of 9 percent over the previous quarter.

Doug Morris, OOIDA security operations director, said he believes not all theft incidents are reported, meaning the actual number of incidents could be higher. He said the increase in loss values is “a clear sign that organized thieves are targeting certain loads due to their value.”

“We will also see an increase in cargo thefts the next couple of months due to the increase in expensive consumer goods being shipped to retail stores for the holidays,” he said.

Food and drinks were once again the most commonly stolen type of load, with 45 thefts reported in the quarter. These thefts composed 22 percent of all incidents from June to August. The electronics industry experienced 29 thefts, 14 percent of the total, mainly consisting of televisions, computers and computer accessories.

California remained the state with the most thefts, accounting for 22 percent of all thefts in the quarter. Texas, Illinois, Florida and Georgia rounded out the top five.

When it comes to safety, Morris said drivers should always attempt to park in areas they know, avoid telling people what they are hauling, and never leave the truck and trailer unattended for long periods of time.

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