FreightWatch: U.S. cargo theft average losses down 20 percent

By Land Line staff | 10/29/2014

The total number of reported cargo thefts in the United States from June to August fell by roughly 20 percent compared with the same time period in 2013, according to FreightWatch.

While the number of overall theft incidents declined, the average loss value during the period skyrocketed to $321,521, a 104 percent increase compared with the average loss reported in cargo thefts from July, August and September of last year.

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 from July to September 2014. The report is compiled from U.S. theft data derived from law enforcement and industry databases.

FreightWatch recorded a total of 208 thefts during the quarter, including 194 full-truckload and 14 last-mile courier incidents. Of those, 70 thefts occurred in July, 76 in August, and 48 in September. The report anticipates that the total number of incidents may rise above the totals from the previous quarter due to delays in incident reporting.

Food/Drinks were once again the most commonly hijacked cargo, with 35 reported incidents – roughly 18 percent of the total thefts for the quarter. Electronics, primarily TVs and cellphones, accounted for 33 reported thefts (17 percent of the total) and home/garden accounted for 28 reported thefts (15 percent).

The spike in average loss-value can be attributed primarily to four separate electronics thefts of over $1 million, and one pharmaceutical theft of $2 million.

California remains the top hotspot for cargo thefts, with 42 reported incidents. Florida, Texas, New Jersey and Georgia rounded out the Top Five states with the highest number of reported cargo thefts.

Unsecured parking once again topped the list of locations where theft was most likely to occur, accounting for 132 reported incidents, primarily at truck stops. Thefts of trailers and containers accounted for 85 percent of all theft types, with 164 reported incidents. In a tie for second were deceptive pickups and facility burglaries, with nine reported incidents each.

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