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
There was a 50 per cent increase in pharmaceutical cargo thefts in the US last year, although the total number of incidents across all sectors stayed roughly the same.
The figures, from cargo security specialist Freightwatch International, suggest that the threat of cargo theft "continues to grow in the US due to increased organisation and innovation on the part of cargo thieves," with 951 incidents equalling the record set in 2012*.
Full truckload (FTL) pharma thefts have been on the wane in recent years but rose 50 per cent to 33 cases last year from 22 in 2012, with the average value of stolen shipments also rising by nearly 15 per cent to $262,000.
The pharma sector accounted for just 4 per cent of the total number of thefts in the year. Food and drink took the brunt with 27 per cent of the total, followed by electronics (14 per cent), home/garden and metal (10 per cent apiece) and building/industrial and clothing (7 per cent each).
Drilling down into the data, Freightwatch notes that Florida and Pennsylvania continued to be hot spots for pharma thefts, while California and Illinois saw dramatic increases.
There were also increases in food/beverage incidents (up 34 per cent to 245 thefts) - with big increases for seafood and nuts. The report suggests criminals may be shifting attention to this category from higher-value goods such as electronics and medicines due to relatively low levels of security.
Deceptive pickups, which increased steadily from 2006 through 2012, numbered 61 in 2013, roughly in line with 2012 levels. There were 27 facility burglaries and incidents involving violence remained a very low portion of cargo thefts, representing 1.26 per cent of the total.
Original Article (Securing Industry)
The number of cargo thefts recorded in 2013 tied 2012′s all-time high of 951, according to an annual report released by FreightWatch International this week, who also said in the report that better organization and innovation by thieves continues to push the threat of cargo theft higher.
An average of 79.25 cargo thefts occurred each month in the U.S. — 2.6 per day. of the 951 total thefts in 2013, 692 were full-truckload or container thefts, FreightWatch reported, and 65 were less-than-truckload thefts.
Thefts of pharmaceuticals and food/drink loads (excluding acohol) each saw big increases in the year, with pharmaceutical load thefts rising 50 percent and food/drink load thefts climbing 34 percent.
Particularly, stolen loads of nuts; seafood; candy, cookies and snacks; dairy and eggs; and meat all more than doubled from 2012, spiking 117 percent, 142 percent, 150 percent and 237 percent, respectively.
Food loads generally have lower security, FreightWatch says, which accounts for some of the uptick, as thieves target the easier-to-nab food/drink loads rather than the harder to obtain electronics loads.
Food/drink loads in the year accounted for 27 percent of all thefts, followed by electronics loads at 14 percent and home/garden and metal loads at 10 percent each.
Of stolen electronics loads, televisions and projects were the most targeted, making up 35 percent of stolen loads. Mixed and miscellaneous loads accounted for 17 percent, a desktop computers accounted for 11 percent. Loads of cell phones and accessories were 7 percent.
Theft of vehicle and load made up 73 percent of all reported thefts in the year, with theft from trailer or container was the second most common type, and deceptive pickup — a form of identity theft — was the third most common type of theft, with 61 incidents in the year.
The average value per stolen load did fall slightly in 2013, down 2 percent to $171,000.
Of all loads stolen, loads of electronics led the way in average value per stolen load at $397,000. Stolen loads of alcohol/tobacco ranked second $280,000, followed by clothing/shoes, $272,000.
Cargo theft activity hit highs in June and September of last year, but the last quarter of the year was, per trend, the most concentrated of the year.
Nearly half of the thefts occurred on Fridays and Saturdays.
California, far and away, had the most thefts in 2013, 259, followed by Texas with 123. Florida, Georgia and Illinois rounded out the top five with 113, 71 and 70, respectively.
From FreightWatch International