Safety & Compliance

Cargo Thefts Decline While Values of Stolen Loads Increase

June 24, 2013

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A new report from logistics security services provider FreightWatch International shows while the number of cargo thefts in the United States fell in the most recent three-month period, the value of the average loss moved higher.

FreightWatch recorded 185 total thefts in March through May, with 79 thefts in March, 44 in April and 62 in May. The average loss value per incident during this period was $156,408. Compared with the previous quarter, thefts fell by 16%, but the average loss value increased by 9%.

FreightWatch says it is unclear whether the drop in cargo theft levels is an actual decline in cargo theft or a delay in cargo theft reporting.

Food and drink, with 50 thefts, was the product type most often stolen in this rolling quarter. These thefts comprised 27% of all incidents. Products targeted in this category included various meats, seafood, drinks and prepared foods.

The pharmaceutical industry experienced 21 thefts, 11% of the total and the second-highest category, mainly consisting of prescription drugs, vitamin supplements and varied medical supplies.

There were 19 thefts, 10% of all thefts, in the electronics industry, including televisions, computers and computer accessories.

California remained the state with the most thefts, while Texas replaced Florida as the state with second highest number of incidents. The 49 thefts in California accounted for 26% of all incidents across the U.S. Texas had 25 thefts, or 14% of the total, while Florida had 21, accounting for 11%.

Three out of four thefts happened in areas with unsecured parking, the most common spot targeted by cargo thieves.

Incidents involving theft of trailer, 126 in all, were most common in the rolling quarter, accounting for 68% of all thefts.

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