CargoNet has issued its annual reminder that cargo theft activity often increases around Memorial Day weekend and is once again offering common sense tips to avoid becoming a victim.

CargoNet warned that organized cargo theft groups exploit nighttime hours and weekends because more trucks are parked and left unattended. When a major holiday occurs with an extended weekend, this increases the risk because there are more unattended vehicles for longer periods of time.

With more time, thieves are given more time to perpetrate crimes. From 2012-2016, the Memorial Day extended holiday saw 126 cargo theft events in the U.S. and Canada. Most of the thefts occurred in California, Florida, Texas, Georgia and New Jersey, however, 23 other states also experienced cargo thefts over the holiday period. CargoNet analyzed data in a period from Memorial Day to the Wednesday after Memorial Day from 2012 to 2016.

CargoNet offers tips for different parts of cargo transport, focusing on the supply chain, in transit, and at a warehouse or distribution center. An interesting tip for shippers is to beware truckers who are willing to take an undesirable load for a lower rate than the industry standard because they may be setting you up for theft.

In transit, trailer security is of high importance and CargoNet recommends securing all vehicles and trailers with high-security locking devices, such as hardened padlocks, king pin locks, air cuffs and steering column locks.

At the warehouse or distribution center, where trucks can sit for extended periods of time, Cargo Net emphasizes facility security and common sense security-- such as ensuring that keys are removed from all equipment and stored in a secure location.

Notable thefts from the past five years have included nearly $3 million in communications equipment stolen in Memphis, Tenn., and a $1.5 million theft of computer tablets from Wilmington, Del. While these thefts were among the most expensive, the average loss value was $214,420.

While electronics may yield the highest value, the most common commodity stolen is food and beverage products, like fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

To find out more and see CargoNet’s full recommendations, visit their website.