FreightWatch: Number of cargo theft incidents dips slightly in second quarter

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line associate editor | 8/3/2015

The number of incidents of cargo theft in the United States is down slightly compared to a year ago, according to the latest report from FreightWatch International.

The 178 verified incidents of cargo theft in April, May and June 2015 represent a 7 percent decrease compared with the same time period last year, according to a new report published Monday. The average loss value per incident of $189,307 is less than 1 percent greater than the average loss values from the same time period in 2014. The report notes that both first quarter 2014 and 2015 had a combined nine thefts of over $1 million per load, but so far no such high-value thefts have been reported in the second quarter of 2015.

FreightWatch, which specializes in tracking supply chain information and cargo thefts around the globe, publishes quarterly reports in addition to an annual report on cargo theft. The report also states that figures from the most recent quarter are expected to rise in the coming weeks, due to what the company in the past has referred to as a “substantial underreporting” of cargo thefts nationwide.

Food and drinks continue to be the most-stolen product type, accounting for 16 percent of total thefts in the U.S. during the quarter. Home and garden supplies leapfrogged electronics as the second- and third-most stolen cargo type, accounting for 14 and 13 percent of all reported thefts respectively.

Texas displaced New Jersey to become the top state where cargo thefts were reported, with 32 incidents, followed by California and Florida at 30 reported incidents. Georgia rounded out the top five.

Roughly 90 percent of all reported thefts occurred in unsecured parking, with 23 percent of those thefts occurring at truck stops. Thefts from warehouses and distribution centers accounted for 6 percent of thefts, followed by secured parking locations with 3 percent in the quarter.

The report also states that full truckload thefts were the most common type during the quarter, accounting for 83 percent of all reported thefts. Pilferage, with 8 percent, was second-most and fictitious pickup accounted for roughly 5 percent of all reported thefts.

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