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Cargo Thefts Decline But Losses Increase Dramatically

November 25, 2013

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A new report from the logistics security services provider, FreightWatch International, shows it recorded a total of 212 cargo thefts in the United States in August through September, with 76 thefts in August, 84 in September and 52 in October.

This graphic from FreightWatch International shows the locations of reported cargo thefts in August through September. Credit: FreightWatch International.
This graphic from FreightWatch International shows the locations of reported cargo thefts in August through September. Credit: FreightWatch International.

The average loss value per incident during the period was $256,586. Compared with the previous three-months thefts decreased by 9%, while the average loss value increased by 58%.

The electronics sector had the highest average loss value this quarter at $1,100,130. This represents a 450% increase over the last rolling quarter’s average, largely due to a pair of very high-value incidents. Clothing/shoes, which experienced 14 thefts, averaged $302,776 in losses. Pharmaceuticals followed with an average loss value of $189,481 resulting from seven high-value thefts among its reported incidents. The average loss in the alcohol/tobacco product type dropped from $347,714 to $135,497 this rolling quarter, putting it in fourth place in this tracking sector.

Food/drinks, with 46 thefts, was the product type most often stolen in this rolling quarter. These thefts comprised 22% of all incidents during the three-month period. The Electronics industry experienced 29 thefts, or 14% of the total, mainly consisting of televisions, computers and computer accessories.

Seven of the 11 FreightWatch product types experienced fewer thefts this quarter than during the previous three months. The drop in theft numbers was significant in the building/industrial, alcohol/tobacco and metals categories, and less so in others. Meanwhile, recorded thefts increased in four of the product types, with miscellaneous and personal Care seeing the most significant gains.

California remained the state with the most thefts, with Texas having seen a slight decrease in incidents but continuing to follow in second. The 64 thefts in California accounted for 30% of all the incidents across the United States. Texas had 32 thefts, 15% of the total, while Florida reported 25 thefts, 12% of the total, placing it third on the list of most targeted states during the three-month period.

Of the incidents in which location types were recorded, unsecured parking was the most common, with 75%  of thefts. Secured parking saw 13% of incidents, a slight increase from the last rolling quarter. Thefts at a facility dropped from 20 the last rolling quarter to five this period. The five thefts from a facility interior and four in-transit thefts together comprised about 6% of all incidents.

Following the usual trend, incidents involving theft of trailer/container, 157 in all, were most common during the rolling quarter, accounting for 74% of all thefts. Thefts from trailer/container increased from 12 the previous three months to 16, comprising 8% of the total. Driver theft increased slightly from 14 incidents during the May-July period to 15 this rolling quarter, with 7% of the total. Thefts of other types claimed 11% of the total this rolling quarter. These included deceptive pickup with eight incidents, last-mile courier theft with seven, facility burglary with five, hijacking with three and attempted hijacking with one reported incident.

More information is available on the FreightWatch International website. http://www.freightwatchintl.com

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