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Cargo Thefts Decline in U.S.

May 23, 2013

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The number and value of cargo thefts in the United States declined February through April, according to a report released this week.

Logistics security services provider FreightWatch International recorded a total of 176 thefts, with 71 thefts in February, 68 in March and 37 in April. The average loss value per incident during this period was $120,990.

Compared with the previous quarter, thefts fell by 16% and the average loss value dropped by 31%. FreightWatch says it is unclear if the drop in cargo theft levels is an actual decline in cargo theft or a change in the cargo theft reporting structure.

Food and drinks, with 47 thefts, was the product type most often stolen in the rolling quarter. These thefts comprised just over a quarter of all incidents. Theft of electronics was the second most stolen product type, making up 12% of reported heists, followed by metals and pharmaceuticals at 10% each.

Texas experienced the most thefts, while Florida, the top spot-holder in the last rolling quarter, dropped to second place. The 29 incidents in Texas accounted for 16% of all incidents across the country. Florida had 27 thefts, accounting for 15% of the total, while California had 27, making it the third most popular state for cargo theft.

Unsecured parking, with 107 thefts, or 75% of them, was the location cargo thieves targeted most often when a location was recorded.

Following usual trends, incidents involving theft of trailer, 112 in all, were most common, accounting for 64% of all thefts. Thefts involving deceptive pickup dropped slightly to eight, comprising 5% of all thefts. FreightWatch notes the recent increase in “last-mile courier thefts” held nearly steady, dropping only from 10 thefts in the previous rolling quarter to nine, making up 5% of all thefts. 

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