Value of Stolen Cargo Rises in 2014, Threat Higher in 2015
FreightWatch, a cargo theft prevention firm in the US, just issued their 2014 cargo theft report this week, and the news is not good. According to the report, the average value of cargo lost to theft rose 36% in 2014 compared to the 2013 year, with the average value lost per load sitting at $232,924. At the same time, the number of reported thefts dropped 12% from 2013, with 794 thefts reported in 2014 or an average of 2.2 per day. This seems to indicate that cargo thieves are targeting higher value merchandise instead of hitting a higher number of shipments.
Driving the increase in stolen cargo values is an uptick in the number of loads of electronics targeted; the value of stolen electronics tripled in 2014 from 2013 at more than $1 million. A breakdown of cargo thefts by products in 2014 is as follows:
- Food & Beverage 19%
- Electronics 16%
- Home & Garden 14%
- Building & Industrial 10%
- Clothing & Shoes 9%
- Metals 9%
- Auto & Parts 7%
- Personal Care 5%
- Miscellaneous 5%
- Alcohol 4%
- Pharmaceuticals 1%
- Tobacco 1%
Almost all cargo thefts occured in Florida, California, Texas, Georgia, New Jersey, and Illinois. Furthermore, 90% of the thefts took place while trucks were stationary or unattended, and 87% were due to lack of secured parking such as truck stops, according to FreightWatch's report. As we roll into 2015, emerging trends in this area include the growing use of technology such as jammers, along with more sophisticated tactics to survey and target high value loads.
For more information about this report, please see 2014 Cargo Theft Load Values Jumps 36% by James Jaillet, Commercial Carrier Journal (March 11, 2015).
Tia Chisholm, HUB International TRANSPORTATION
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