2024 CargoNet theft report.

CargoNet reported a 46% increase compared to the first quarter of 2023 and a concerning 10% rise from the fourth quarter of 2023.

Graphic: CargoNet

In the first quarter of 2024, criminal activities impacting the logistics and transportation industry reached new highs, according to CargoNet. The fleet security company notes the increase even amidst the sustained crime wave it began tracking began in late 2022. During the first part of this year, CargoNet documented a staggering 925 theft incidents. This marks a “substantial” 46% increase compared to the first quarter of 2023 and a concerning 10% rise from the fourth quarter of 2023, the company said.

Staggering Loss Numbers

The average stolen shipment value in the first quarter of 2024 was $281,757, while the declared total value was $76 million, CargoNet reported.

By extrapolating the average shipment value across events without a declared value, CargoNet estimates that a total of $154.6 million worth of goods were stolen during this period.

While reported events increased in most states, the most significant spikes were observed in California (with a +72% year-over-year increase), Illinois (with a +126% year-over-year increase), and Texas (with a +22% year-over-year increase).

Certain commodities, such as small appliances, liquor, energy drinks, and copper, were heavily targeted. Thieves demonstrated a propensity to steal a wide array of goods, posing a significant threat to industries nationwide.

New Fraud Schemes in Play

Much of the threat came in the form of complex fraud schemes, CargoNet reported. In these scams, entire truckloads were picked up and never delivered or delivered with digitally altered paperwork to hide the theft from the customer.

However, simple cargo theft, including the whole theft of unattended, loaded trailers and pilferage of unattended, loaded trailers, remained a persistent issue.

Notable hotspots for such simple cargo thefts included Southern California, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, as well as the corridor spanning New York, North Jersey, and Eastern Pennsylvania.

Looking ahead to the second quarter and beyond, CargoNet anticipates that high levels of non-delivery thefts and strategic shortages will persist. The threat landscape remains dynamic, necessitating continuous vigilance and proactive security measures from stakeholders across the supply chain.

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