Cargo thieves nearly broke a record in 2013 by making off with 951 loads or partial loads. Exactly the same number of thefts set a new record in 2012, according to a report from FreightWatch International.
Thieves targeted pharmaceutical and food or drink loads at increased numbers last year. Pharmaceutical load theft rose 50 percent, and food and drink theft rose 34 percent. Food and drink loads have been the most commonly stolen type of cargo since 2010. The most frequently stolen products in this category are meat, energy drinks, soft drinks and produce. The category does not include alcoholic drinks.
The targeting of food may be due to lower security standards for food loads than for more valuable products such as electronics, according to FreightWatch.
While the theft of an entire vehicle or container accounted for 73 percent of the incidents in 2013, hijacking, which is not included in that category, is actually the least common type of theft. Deceptive pickup, a form of identity theft, is on the rise, coming in as the third most common form of cargo theft in 2013. Sixty-one incidents occurred during the year.
By state, California suffered the most losses, with 259 thefts last year. Rounding out the top five were Texas, Florida, Georgia and Illinois.
Photo source: FreightWatch International