With unattended trucks and closed warehouse facilities, holidays present an opportune time for cargo theft, and in the U.S. and Canada with the Labor Day weekend ahead, CargoNet has offered some security tips.
CargoNet has been studying Labor Day cargo theft trends since 2013. Looking at the days leading up to and after the Labor Day holidays of 2013 through 2017, it has recorded 98 cargo thefts in the U.S. The value of all the stolen goods exceeded $15.74 million in that analysis period. By contrast, there were 741 total cargo thefts in the U.S. and Canada last year.
Thieves love holidays because there tends to be an increase in consumer demand for goods and at the same time, more opportune periods when staff is reduced at guarded facilities holding cargo. Within the period that CargoNet analyzed, the 2015 weekend was a particularly expensive one, due to a single $5.7 million cell phone heist.
In particular, new editions of the Apple iPhone, which are usually announced in September and shipped later in the month, are often a target for thieves as droves of the desirable yet still limited products are shipped in large quantities to fulfill pre-orders. In November of last year alone, around 300 iPhone X models worth $370,000 were stolen from a UPS truck.
While electronics are valuable and sought after, food and beverage loads still top the list of the most targeted commodities, making up 22% of all cargo thefts in 2017.
Cargo theft activity is highest in California, New Jersey, Texas, and Florida, but there were thefts in 24 states and Canadian provinces from 2013-2017. High-value loads stolen on Labor Day weekends have included $5,700,000 in cell phones from a warehouse in New Castle, Delaware, and $1.3 million in silver stolen from a port in Montreal, Quebec. Warehouses were the most common location targeted for thefts, followed by secured yards.
The following infographic includes tips for cargo security over the Labor Day weekend: