Cargo theft expected to rise

Cargo Theft on the Rise: Heightened Concerns

Cargo theft has become a significant concern within the transportation industry, with an alarming increase in incidents reported in recent years. The year 2023 has witnessed a staggering 41% surge in cargo theft compared to the previous year. CargoNet, a leading cargo theft recording firm, warns that this upward trend is expected to intensify during the upcoming holidays. Lets discuss the current state of cargo theft and its potential impact on the transportation supply chain.

Cargo Theft Trends and Fraudulent Schemes 

In the first 20 weeks of 2023 alone, over 900 reports of theft, fraud, and other criminal activities in the supply chain have been recorded, marking a significant increase from the previous year. CargoNet has observed a sharp rise in highly technical shipment misdirection fraud schemes across the United States. Fictitious pickups and fraud complaints have surged by a staggering 675% compared to the same period in 2022.

California has been particularly susceptible to misdirection fraud, although incidents have been reported in other states as well. Southern California’s fictitious pickup groups have shown a preference for non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages, solar panels, and vehicle accessories. These criminals tend to target shipments on Mondays and Fridays, making these days particularly vulnerable.

Trailer Burglary and Full Trailer Theft

Eastern regions of the United States, including South Florida, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicagoland, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, have witnessed a rise in trailer burglary and full trailer theft. Organized cargo theft groups from South Florida surveil warehouses across the Eastern seaboard or Midwest, targeting outbound shipments and striking when the driver leaves the trailer unattended. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area, Chicagoland (especially Bolingbrook, Illinois), Atlanta Metropolitan Area, and Philadelphia have also experienced notable trailer burglary and full trailer theft activities.

Holiday Concerns 

Memorial Day weekend has historically been a period of heightened cargo theft incidents. CargoNet’s data from the past five years indicates an increase in theft during this holiday period. To combat potential theft, CargoNet recommends securing all trailers, loaded or unloaded, with high-security barrier seals, hardened padlocks, and kingpin locks for unattached trailers. Additionally, unattended tractors should be equipped with high-security locking devices such as air-cuff and steering column locks.

Truck Parking Challenges 

While cargo theft poses a significant risk to the transportation industry, truck parking challenges further exacerbate the problem. The city of St. Paul, Minnesota, is considering a proposal to ban truck parking on city streets, following a similar ordinance implemented in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Trucking Association (MTA) raises concerns about reduced efficiency and limited driving hours for truck drivers who would be forced to park outside of St. Paul. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) reports that 98% of truck drivers regularly face difficulties finding safe parking, a significant increase from previous years.

Progressive Insurance’s Heavy Truck Roadside Assistance 

To address the needs of commercial auto customers, Progressive Insurance now offers Heavy Truck Roadside Assistance (HT RSA). This optional coverage includes towing and on-site labor cost coverage in the event of disablement. Through a collaboration with TTN Fleet Solutions, Progressive connects customers with qualified service providers, streamlining the process and eliminating the need for reimbursement filings.

Cargo theft remains a pressing issue in the transportation industry, with an alarming rise in incidents reported in 2023. As the Memorial Day holiday approaches, concerns heighten regarding the potential for increased theft activity. Truck drivers and supply chain stakeholders must remain vigilant and employ security measures to mitigate the risk of cargo theft. Furthermore, addressing truck parking challenges and implementing comprehensive security measures are crucial steps in safeguarding the industry’s assets.



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