JERSEY CITY, N.J. — In 2015, the CargoNet® Command Center received and logged more than 1,500 incidents of cargo theft, heavy commercial vehicle theft, and identity theft of trucking companies in the United States and Canada. 881 incidents involved theft of cargo. CargoNet received a loss value on 53% of reported cargo thefts. $98 million in cargo was stolen in those 470 thefts. The average cargo theft loss value per incident was $187,490. If combined with the known loss value, we can estimate the value of stolen cargo in all 881 incidents to be $175,303,399. CargoNet recorded 10 cargo thefts worth more than $1 million this year.
California reported the most cargo thefts of any state or province. CargoNet recorded 158 theft incidents with a total loss value of $18.7 million. Texas was close behind with 130 recorded theft incidents and $12.2 million in cargo stolen. Texas was followed by Florida (98 thefts), Georgia (97 thefts), and New Jersey (80 thefts).
It’s important to note that some states had noticeable increases or decreases in cargo theft from quarter to quarter. New Jersey is a good example of this. CargoNet had recorded 34 thefts in first-quarter 2015 for New Jersey, but by fourth-quarter 2015 the number had dropped to just 12 thefts. In contrast, thefts have increased in Tennessee each quarter.
In 2015 49% of reported cargo theft incidents occurred between Friday and Sunday. Friday was the most common day for cargo theft: 21% of all cargo theft occured on Friday. Cargo theft also spiked briefly on Monday (16% of all cargo theft incidents). We took a closer look at our data, and it seems cargo theft groups prefer to steal Monday evening into Tuesday morning more than Sunday night into Monday morning. Wednesday was the least common day. Only 9% of cargo thefts occurred on a Wednesday.
Food and beverage items were again the most stolen commodity. Of the cargo theft incidents that CargoNet received, 28% involved theft of food and beverage cargo. This was significantly more than the next highest categories, electronics and household, each of which accounted for 13% of stolen items.
CargoNet is a division of Verisk Crime Analytics, a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business.
Today's Trucking Staff
TORONTO, ON — In security circles, the Greater Toronto Area has come to be known as the “shopping triangle” for cargo thieves who continue to wreak havoc on the Canadian trucking industry to the tune of $5 billion per year, snapping up everything from electronics to metals, by any means necessary.
Canada’s cargo theft crisis continues to escalate, with reports to the Insurance Bureau of Canada doubling to 400 over 2015 alone, primarily in southern Ontario. As Canada’s most targeted area, the shopping triangle is a geographical region that’s not only on organized crime’s radar, but the radar of security experts like Ron Hartman, too, who’s working to empower trucking companies through a long list of modern prevention measures.
“We all know it’s a lot easier to prevent a crime than solve it,” says Hartman, speaking at a Wednesday seminar hosted by the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada. “You must think like a criminal.”
Hartman is director of security solutions for AFIMAC Global, which specializes in cargo theft prevention. While the old school criminal methods of hijacking cargo are alive and well, Hartman says technology has allowed for more criminals to operate from behind the safety of a desk, utilizing online information and applications to find new ways to infiltrate the system, and of course, precious cargo.
One of the more recent cargo theft phenomenon is dubbed fraudulent pickups. Essentially, criminals setup an entirely fictitious trucking company online, and then use it to prey on shippers who don’t do their homework, failing to screen and verify data. The criminals troll load boards and make a deal.
“Then that load gets picked up and never delivered,” says Hartman.
Hartman describes the cargo theft business as “low risk, low penalty, high reward.” In fact, theft is so pervasive that he estimates as much as 60 per cent of these crimes go unreported, mostly out of fear over rising insurance premiums, or corporate image. Of course, nobody likes to admit they’re a victim.
Once criminals have secured their stolen goods, Hartman says they tend to break down the shipment into smaller quantities, repackage, then export it.
“For those with an untrained eye, it looks like the normal course of business,” adds Hartman.
When it comes to what exactly thieves are stealing, the answer is anything and everything. Recent Canadian heists involved T-Shirts and a shipment of silver, but electronics continue to lead the way, Hartman says, representing about 18 per cent of cargo thefts. Items like beverages and auto parts both represent 10 per cent of thefts.
In 2014, in an attempt to put a stop to cargo theft crime nationwide, theInsurance Bureau of Canada andCanadian Trucking Alliance teamed up and expanded their joint IBC-CTA reporting form into a national reporting program.