Holiday periods, such as the three-day Labor Day weekend, are known for increased risk of cargo theft, because cargo thieves look to exploit an abundance of unattended trucks and closed warehouse facilities.
CargoNet has analyzed cargo theft trends from the Thursday before Labor Day to the Wednesday after Labor Day from 2013 to 2018 to better understand the problem.
In this analysis period, CargoNet said it recorded 114 cargo thefts across the United States and Canada. Cargo theft activity was highest in California, Texas, New Jersey, and Florida; but theft was recorded in 24 states and provinces during this period. Cargo theft most commonly occurred on Thursday in this analysis—a shift from the Friday or Saturday the company usually sees for holiday weekends. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were tied for the second most targeted days.
CargoNet's analysis found that 2013 had the record for the highest activity, with 29 recorded cargo thefts; but 2015 was the costliest year on record, due to a single $5.7 million theft of cell phones. The value of the stolen cargo among all thefts exceeded $16.56 million for the entire analysis period.
To show the cost of holiday cargo theft, CargoNet also noted these high-profile thefts from previous Labor Day weekends:
- $5.7 million in cell phones from a warehouse in New Castle, Delaware
- $1.5 million in Airsoft equipment from a warehouse in Irwindale, California (recovered)
- $1 million in silver from a port in Montreal, Quebec
- $800,000 in cell phones from a truck stop in Jackson, Tennessee
- $560,000 in laptops from a secured yard in Ontario, California (recovered)
The company urges truckers to protect their trucks and cargo by avoiding leaving their equipment unattended in high-theft metropolitan areas and by using secured lots with high-visibility lighting, secure fences, and staffed security services. The company also advises truckers to be on the lookout for vehicles following them as they leave warehouses with goods. Contact the local police to report any suspicious situations.