Cargo Thefts Increase in Most Recent Three-Month Period

September 23, 2013

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UPDATED--A new report shows truck cargo theft during the most recent three-month period increased in the United States, while the value of each incident moved higher by nearly double-digits.

Credit: FreightWatch International
Credit: FreightWatch International

The logistics security services company, FreightWatch International, reports between June and August, it recorded a total of 202 thefts.

The average loss value per incident during this period was $166,454. Compared with the previous quarter, total thefts increased by 5%, while the average loss value increased by 9%.

Food/drinks was the product type most often stolen in this rolling quarter. These thefts comprised 22% of all incidents. The electronics industry experienced 29 thefts, or 14% of the total, while there were 25 thefts, or 12% of all incidents, in the metals sector.

A little under half of the 14 FreightWatch product types experienced fewer thefts this quarter than the previous three months, March through May. The drop in theft numbers was significant in the pharmaceuticals, food/drinks and auto/parts categories, with the product types, metals, electronics and building/industrial seeing the most significant gains.

California remained the state with the most thefts, with Texas having experienced an increase in incidents but holding in second place. The 46 thefts in California accounted for 22% of all incidents. Texas had 34 thefts, or 18% of the total, while Illinois reported 31, or 14%, taking the number three spot. Florida dropped from third position to number four, having experienced 24 thefts, or 12% of the total, during the rolling quarter.

Of the theft incidents in which a location type was recorded, unsecured parking, with 55% of thefts, was the most common. Secured parking saw 23 incidents, 15% of all thefts, a signficant increase from 12 incidents in the last rolling quarter. Thefts targeting a facility dropped from 21 incidents in the last rolling quarter to 15, or 10% of all during this period. The five thefts from a facility interior and two in-transit thefts together comprised about 4% of all incidents.

Following the usual trend, incidents involving theft of trailer/container, 165 in all, were most common in the rolling quarter, accounting for 76% of all thefts. Thefts involving deceptive pickup remained the same as the previous three months at 19 incidents, comprising 9% of the total.

While the average loss value across all incidents was $166,454 for the rolling quarter, the average losses in specific product types varied widely, with the alcohol category having the highest average loss value at $689,081, a 685% increase of over the last rolling quarter.

The full reports is available on the FreightWatch International website.

Update corrects value of average loss.


  1. 1. Dick [ September 28, 2013 @ 07:51AM ]

    Yes, theifs have increased, just like they always do, during recessions. What creates the problem, and I have witnessed this in the company i work for. today we have to many bean counters looking at cost cutting. case in point, at a yard in pa., my company had a rig taken, from a yard with video cameras, fence enclosed. so why did they get away with it?

    the loss was near a 1/4 million, the cost cutters shut off the cameras because of the cost for the comstant watching that the security required over a weekend. seems that everthing is driven by the figure heads that have no idea of how the real world operates, like the new 1am to 5 am rule

    shops do not have as many parts as they used to because the tutn over rate is low for some things like, fuses, head lite assembles, for example. but let the driver get stopped, and fined, and see who gets the blame. some of us are old, but common sense, seems to have gone out of style.

    but the companies save money, short term, and loose long term.


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