Cargo Thefts Jump 59% Over 2022 - Food & Beverage, Household Goods Top Targets

Last week CargoNet reported 692 separate thefts in third quarter 2023 in the U.S. and Canada, an increase of 59% over the same quarter in 2022. The value of the stolen freight totaled over $31 million. Much of the increase was due to strategic cargo thefts in which thieves use stolen carrier and broker identities to obtain freight and misdirect it from the intended receiver so they can steal it.

Last week CargoNet reported 692 separate thefts in third quarter 2023 in the U.S. and Canada, an increase of 59% over the same quarter in 2022. The value of the stolen freight totaled over $31 million. Much of the increase was due to strategic cargo thefts in which thieves use stolen carrier and broker identities to obtain freight and misdirect it from the intended receiver so they can steal it.

According to CargoNet, strategic cargo theft events increased 430% year-over-year, while thefts of full trailers increased 4%. Reported thefts increased in every event category. Documented strategic cargo theft events increased 430% year-over-year, and theft of a loaded conveyance such as a full trailer increased 4% year-over-year. Top states for this type of theft were California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Illinois.

One of the best ways to protect your company from cargo theft is to become aware of the various methods used by thieves, the type(s) of cargo most targeted, likely locations for theft and education of your drivers. Theft activity also picks up around holidays.

CargoNet noted that thieves are also targeting a wider range of commodities, including truckload shipments of metals, such as copper, brass and aluminum; apparel, especially officially licensed sports apparel; and shipments of personal care and beauty products.

“Strategic cargo theft groups continue to pioneer new methods of strategic cargo theft that seek to evade common compliance practices used by logistics brokers,” CargoNet said in a press release.

A common practice occurs when thieves defraud small motor carriers or owner-operators with intent to hijack their accounts or convince them to solicit shipments from brokers on their behalf. Both strategies are more likely to succeed with brokers and carriers that fail to verify identities prior to tendering a load.

CargoNet anticipates that strategic cargo theft will remain at unprecedented levels of activity throughout the fourth quarter, noting also that strategic cargo theft rings have picked up activity around holiday periods.

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