FreightWatch: Cargo thefts up, loss values down for latest quarter

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, October 24, 2013

The latest analysis of reported cargo thefts in the U.S. shows the frequency of cargo thefts is up about 15 percent, but the average loss value is down about 5 percent compared with second quarter 2013, 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 July and September 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 231 thefts, with 74 thefts in July, 76 in August, and 81 in September. The average loss value per incident was $154,866.

Food and drinks were once again the most commonly stolen type of load, with 49 thefts reported in the quarter. These thefts composed 21 percent of all incidents from July to September. The electronics industry experienced 29 thefts, 13 percent of the total, mainly consisting of televisions, computers and computer accessories. The Home and Garden category saw 25 thefts, or 11 percent of the total, largely targeting appliances and cleaning products, according to the report.

California remained the state with the most thefts, accounting for 31 percent of all thefts in the quarter. Florida took over the second spot with 30 thefts, while Illinois and Texas tied for third with 28 each. Georgia rounded out the top five with 15 thefts.

Doug Morris, OOIDA security operations director, said he believes not all theft incidents are reported, meaning the actual number of incidents could be higher. 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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