More than 200 cargo theft incidents occurred in the United States in the third quarter of the year, FreightWatch International reported Wednesday.
In the quarter, the organization recorded 194 194 Full-Truckload (FTL) cargo thefts and 14 Last-Mile Courier thefts for a total of 208 incidents in the U.S.
Seventy FTL thefts occurred in July, 76 in August, and 48 in September, and the average loss value per incident during the quarter was $321,521, according to FreightWatch.
Compared with the same quarter of 2013, the volume of thefts declines by 20%; however, the average loss value increased by 104%.
“The average loss-value ceiling continues to rise and illustrates that organized cargo thieves continue to aggressively target high value freight,” the organization said.
Food and drink accounted for 18% of all thefts, the most of any industry during the third quarter of this year, followed closely by electronics, at 17% of all thefts.
With 42 thefts, California was the state with the most incidents, followed by Florida, which accounted for 17% of all thefts.
MIAMI (WSVN) -- After a large truck filled with beer was stolen in Orlando, earlier in October, a trucker was left devastated -- until Miami Police detectives helped return it to him.
Van Thomas was trying to live the American dream. After years as a trucker, he bought his very own semi in early October and made a company of his own.
However, while traveling from Texas to Pompano Beach, Thomas made a stop in Orlando that took everything he worked for away from him.
Thomas was devastated to find that his tractor trailer was stolen from the truck stop. "I don't mean to cry about it, but I'm just trying to do the best I can and make a better life," said Thomas.
At the time, Thomas was hauling 44,000 pounds of Miller High Life. That's about 9,700 four-packs of beer.
Thomas was crushed. "I invested all my time and energy into this company and to have this happen at this stage of the game is really devastating right now."
Thomas said it's a problem that drivers like him have to deal with all too often. A truck full of eggs was stolen earlier this year in Fort Myers, as well as a truck with Hershey's chocolate stolen last year in Volusia County and a truck filled with Slimfast that was swiped near Downtown Orlando.
It's thousands of dollars gone from the truckers' pockets, and for Thomas, it was $2,300, plus the cost of his truck.
However, when all looked grim, Thomas received a very welcoming phone call. Just as he was losing all hope, City of Miami Police detectives told him his semi had been found. "Oh, my God, that's beautiful," said Thomas.
And, yes, some of that beer was still inside. "Oh, man. That's the best news I've heard, man. Thank you so much, man."
Detectives are trying to figure out who stole Thomas' truck. They are also investigating whether the theft was part of a bigger ring.
COVINGTON TOWNSHIP — A trucking company in Lackawanna County is missing a tractor, a trailer and about $100,00 worth of merchandise.
The owner of Naro Trucking in Covington Township thinks two people broke into the company’s yard earlier this week.
He said, on Tuesday, someone stole a tractor trailer full of blue jeans.
The trucking company near Gouldsboro is now out $150,000.
It’s not the first time Naro Trucking has dealt with crooks, back in 2006 the company had a similar theft.
“Right after that, I fenced the whole place in, ya know? Now here we are back in the same business,” said Ross Naro, the owner of Naro Trucking.
The owner of the trucking company said he was surprised that the theft happened right off a main road in Lackawanna County. He said the people who did it, came off that road, broke the lock to the gate and headed in.
“They took one tractor, went up to the top of the hill where we keep the rest of the trailers and went through all the trailers, probably about 15 of them,” said Naro.
The owner said the people broke the seals on 15 trailers and looked for something they could make money on.
He thinks, that’s why they took the shipment of blue jeans.
Even though Naro Trucking has a security gate and cameras the owner said he now needs more.
“We hired a security guard. He’s here from about 9 o’clock at night until 6 since the morning, 7 days a week. So there’s more of an expense,” said Naro.
The owner said he doesn't have big hopes that the tractor, trailer and blue jeans will be back anytime soon, but he does want to know who is responsible. “Naturally, I’d like to see them caught. But, I don’t see that happening. “
The owner of the trucking company said he has reported the theft to Covington Township police.
He is now working with his insurance company to see if it will cover the cost.
Original News Story
By Brad Morehouse
and Curt Morehouse
According to many industry reporting outlets, cargo theft has been on the rise and reached a record high in 2011. The US Cargo Theft Report shows the cargo theft rate rose 8.8% from 2010 with average losses of $319,000. With these numbers and the amount of incidents on the rise, many trucking companies and shippers need to increase their security protocols within their supply chains.
It’s easy to know when your entire truck and trailer has been stolen; it can be gone in minutes. Paying for that theft is painful for trucking companies and shippers alike. However what can be more aggravating and frustrating is paying for a load that has not been stolen, but instead has had the trailer seal compromised during transit before arriving to your customer’s location. With food product the main freight we haul, the seal has become just as important as getting the load delivered on time.
Our company, W N Morehouse Truck Line Inc based in Omaha NE, has made in-transit security a priority. More than 25 years ago, our father Jerry Morehouse Jr encountered a transportation security company, Transport Security Inc based in Waconia MN, at an annual trucking conference and discovered its new product for securing trailer doors. He invited company representatives to our offices and put the Enforcer Adjustable Trailer Lock through rigorous physical attacks. After working up a sweat and getting nowhere with the lock, he outfitted our entire fleet with the locks.
Fast-forward 25 years to today’s current trucking environment. As a trucking company, we are responsible for not only getting the load delivered on time and intact, but we also need to ensure that the inexpensive seal used to verify integrity of the shipments remains intact and on the trailer during transit of food or pharmaceutical products. Shippers have no choice but to refuse an entire load if they cannot verify integrity of the shipment through the entire supply chain process.
As trucking company owners, we imagined our fleet of almost 200 trailers and trucks parked in various parts of the country during shipments of our customer’s products becoming vulnerable. Something as simple as a driver from another company jokingly pulling a trailer seal off or a mischievous teenager “popping” a seal on a trailer loaded with frozen shrimp for fun can cost us thousands—if not hundreds of thousands—of dollars in claims, not to mention a customer possibly lost because of a missed delivery.
We foresaw this scenario before it ever happened to us. Transport Security Inc, which we had been working with for years, was the most obvious place to turn to for a security solution that could assist us in preventing such an incident from happening. It was able to offer a security solution that seamlessly fit into our operations: the Enforcer Seal Guard Lock for trailers. The Seal Guard Lock affixes to trailer doors over the trailer latch and completely encases and covers the trailer seal, preventing any tampering or unauthorized removal. The device is secured with a high-security padlock that resists physical attacks.
“With claims from trailer seals breakages ranging anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 per incident, it was a no-brainer to add the Enforcer Seal Guard Lock to our security protocols as it prevents these costly claims from occurring while in transit,” said Brad Morehouse, vice-president of Morehouse Trucking.
After taking time to evaluate the new security solution, we were able to implement this upgraded security feature within our entire fleet, providing not only an increase in security for our trailers but also a value-added service to our clients.
”We initially implemented the Enforcer Adjustable Door Locks to let us know that our load was secure while in transit, adding the Seal Guard Lock allows us to add another layer of security and show our customers that the load has not been compromised,” said Curt Morehouse.
We value our customers and took the initiative to see the issue occurring out there and combat the problem fleetwide, saving the company and our client’s money and headaches.
For complete details, visit www.morehousetruckline.com or www.transportsecurity.com.
About the authors: Brad Morehouse is vice-president and Curt Morehouse is secretary-treasurer of Morehouse Truck Line. The firm was started by William Newel Morehouse in 1932 as a one-man operation; it has grown to have more than 150 employees and operates an average of 120 trucks and 180 trailers.
By Michael Harthorne
Detectives recover thousands of laptops, TVs from cargo-theft cartel
Detectives recovered 1,169 TVs, not to mention thousands more laptops and refrigerators, believed to have been stolen by a cargo-theft cartel over the summer. (Courtesy of PATROL)
SUMNER, Wash. -- Detectives recovered $1.5 million worth of stolen laptops, TVs, refrigerators and more believed to have been stolen by an organized Southern California cargo-theft cartel back in August.
According to the PATROL Auto Theft Task Force, the suspects used semi-tractors to steal five cargotrailers loaded with high-value items Aug. 21. They reportedly would have stolen four more cargo trailers if one of the suspects hadn't crashed a truck, blocking their exit.
After weeks of investigation, PATROL detectives served search warrants on two storage facilities and a warehouse earlier this month, finding many of the stolen items.
The recovered items included:
1,169 large-screen TVs
According to PATROL, detectives arrested one suspect while serving the search warrants. They believe he is the leader of the cartel, the rest of which is believed to be in Southern California or Mexico.
Grace M. Lavigne, Associate Web Editor
Cargo theft is about to enter its busiest season, and motor carriers, in particular, are advised to be on guard.
According to FreightWatch International, theft activity in the U.S. in 2013 was concentrated in the fourth quarter with a total of 242 incidents. The greatest number of incidents occurred in late September just before the beginning of the holiday shipping season.
The U.S. has also seen a “significant” rise in driver theft incidents, which involve either direct theft by the driver, the driver’s voluntary collusion or complicity in the crime or a deceptive criminal posing as a legitimate carrier resource, FreightWatch said. This method of crime reached an all-time high in 2013, soaring 76 percent from 2012 and 389 percent from 2011.
“This growing trend – surreptitious driver – warrants acute awareness as the shipping industry enters its peak season,” FreightWatch said.
The driver turnover rate ― the rate at which drivers need to be replaced ― was 92 percent at large carriers in the first quarter, according to the American Trucking Associations’ latest quarterly Trucking Activity Report, which is a “huge” disadvantage and security risk to an organization’s supply chain, according to FreightWatch.
“Fictitious pickups continue to be a growing threat in our industry,” the analyst said. “The frequency of fictitious pickups increased sharply from 2011 to 2012, remained relatively constant in 2013, and have resumed a steep upward path during the first two quarters of 2014; 26 fictitious pickups have already been reported this year, totaling over $3.5 million in lost cargo.”
Forty percent of those incidents in 2014 targeted electronics and apparel, FreightWatch said. These low-risk, high-reward incidents continue to be relatively easy for the criminal to organize, while becoming increasingly painful for enterprises to endure.
The peak season from July to September adds even more risk of cargo thefts to supply chains, as limitations on available carriers often necessitate brokering, according to the report. Logisticians, transporters and security professionals should be aware of the threats, as well as exercise due diligence when sourcing carriers and ensure that all participants in the supply chain comply with industry best practices.
“The organized criminal dedicates an inordinate amount of time to surveillance, preparation and rehearsals; we must dedicate ample resources to proactively combat this growing threat,” FreightWatch said.
From May through July, FreightWatch recorded 179 thefts in the U.S., with 66 thefts in May, 53 in June and 60 in July. The average loss per value per incident during the period was $151,174. Compared with the previous quarter, thefts decreased 12 percent, while the average loss value decreased 35 percent. Food and drinks were the product types most often stolen with 37 thefts or 21 percent of all incidents during the three-month period.
Contact Grace M. Lavigne at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter: @Lavigne_JOC.
ST. PETERSBURG — A semitrailer truck stolen Sunday morning from a towing company was carrying approximately 36,000 pounds of Crisco sticks destined for delivery to a Publix distribution center in Lakeland, according to St. Petersburg Police Department reports.
The truck, a red 2005 Volvo with the Florida license tag 523 93P, had "NS Express LLC, Bowling Green, KY 42104" on both of the cab doors, police said; the trailer was a white Hyundai model with the Florida license tag 445 0PP. They were parked at Coastal Towing, 2390 118th Ave. N, at the time of the theft.
In addition, police said thieves broke into another trailer carrying boxes from the Amazon distribution center in Ruskin. A number of boxes were opened and their contents removed, but it was not immediately known what items were stolen.
FreightWatch’s map of cargo theft hot zones, based on recent theft trends.
Between June and August, 182 cargo thefts were recorded in the U.S., according to cargo-theft prevention firm FreightWatch International. That’s a 16 percent drop from the prior quarter (March-May), but a small increase from the thefts recorded between April and June.
The average loss value per load also fell 16 percent in the quarter, according to FreightWatch, putting the number at $182,115. That number, however, is also a small increase from the April-June quarter’s$ 174,415.
Moreover, FreightWatch’s report says the risk level for cargo theft in the U.S. remains at “high,” meaning “cargo theft is a common activity, especially in geographical hot spots,” FreightWatch’s report notes. “Targeting by organized crime exists and violence does occur.”
Food/drink loads remained the most stolen, with 34 thefts in the category occurring during the June-August quarter, accounting for 19 percent of the total. Meats, carbonated drinks and mixed food products remained the most targeted types in the category.
Electronics loads jumped to No. 2 with 32 thefts, 18 percent. Televisions, cell phones and audio equipment made up most of the targeted loads. Loads of home/garden products — applianced, bedding, furniture — accounted for 24 thefts, or 13 percent of incidents.
Like most quarters, five states accounted for nearly 70 percent of all thefts: California, Florida, Texas, Georgia and Illinois.
California had the most thefts, 36, and made up 20 percent of the total. Florida was second with 19 percent — 34 — of the total thefts. Texas was third with 27 thefts, 15 percent, and Georgia followed with 14 thefts, 8 percent. Illinois’ 13 thefts accounted for 7 percent.
Theft of trailer/container again accounted for a large majority of the thefts, with 153 (84 percent) of the quarter’s thefts coming there.
Facility burglaries made up 6 percent of the total, while deceptive pickups (4 percent) and theft from trailer/container and driver thefts (5 percent combined) made up the rest.
Loads of pharmaceuticals (medication) led the average loss value per load by a wide margin, averaging $2 million. Pharmaceuticals (supplies) had the second highest average loss value at $453,625, followed by loads of alcohol/tobacco ($401,759), personal care products ($339,549) and electronics ($310,262).