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Value of Cargo Theft Increases

August 22, 2013

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The level of cargo thefts from trucking is nearly unchanged over the past three months but the average value of the thefts has risen dramatically.

The logistics security services provider, FreightWatch International, reports from May through July it recorded a total of 185 thefts in the United States. The average loss value per incident during this period was $147,260. Compared with the previous quarter, thefts increased by 1%, while the average loss value increased by 23%.

Food and drinks was the product type most often stolen in this rolling quarter, comprising 25% of all incidents during the three-month period. The electronics industry experienced 13% of the total, while 12% of all thefts were in the building/industrial sector, including shingles, construction materials and equipment.

California remained the state with the most thefts, with Texas continuing to follow in second. The thefts in California accounted for 25% of all incidents across the United States. Texas had 16% of the total, while Illinois reported 14%, making it the third most popular state for cargo theft. Florida dropped from third position to number four, having experienced 11% of thefts in the rolling quarter.

Following the usual trend, incidents involving theft of trailer/container, were most common, accounting for 76% of all thefts. Thefts involving deceptive pickup remained the same as the previous three months, comprising 9% of all thefts.

While the average loss value across all incidents was $161,676 for the quarter, the average losses in specific product types varied widely. The alcohol category had the highest average loss value at $481,108, a 547% increase of over the last rolling quarter. Clothing/shoes, which experienced nine thefts, averaged $397,333 in losses. Cosmetics/consumer care followed with an average loss value of $320,000 resulting from three high-value thefts. Tobacco saw a drop, from $315,008 last rolling quarter to $254,400 this quarter.

The full report is available on the FreightWatch International website

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