FreightWatch recorded 433 cargo theft incidents in the first half of 2011, a 6.8% decline from the same time period in 2010.

The average value per recorded incident from January to June of 2011 was $447,346. By comparison, the average loss value in the first half of 2010, if the $76 million warehouse burglary is included in the calculations, is $584,875. However, if the Enfield loss is discarded as an outlier, then the value is $286,791.

Although the overall number of thefts is down slightly for the time period, it is vital that shippers, logistics providers and transportation companies be aware of several trends that emerged or continued to plague the supply chain industry during the period, FreightWatch says.

First, multi-trailer losses that were discussed in the 2010 Biennual Report remain a significant problem for shippers and transportation providers. Twenty]five incidents, accounting for 67 stolen trailers, were recorded in the latest period, compared with 16 incidents and 35 stolen trailers in the first half of 2010.

Second, electronics continue to drop as the most stolen items. With 72 recorded thefts in the first six months of 2011, this sector accounted for 17% of all theft incidents. That places it second to the food and drinks sector, which accounted for 24% of the total.

The electronics industry, however, had an average loss value per incident of $1.61 million, the result of four incidents involving losses in excess of $1 million, including the $37 million warehouse armed robbery in Fremont, California.

Third, a rash of deceptive pick-ups occurred across the country in the first half of 2011. Fifteen such incidents represent a 400% increase from the three recorded in 2010, indicating that cargo criminals continue to adjust their modi operandi and act creatively to get what they want.

Violence continues play a marginal role in cargo theft incidents, FreightWatch says. It recorded three in 2011, compared with five in the same period the year before.

The full report can be found at: