Cargo thefts on the upswing

Cargo theft in the U.S. is trending up when compared with first-quarter 2014, according to a new report from CargoNet.

Previously, the freight theft prevention and recovery services provider predicted cargo thefts in the country would surpass 120 incidents in the first quarter of 2015; however, preliminary statistics show was exceeded.

CargoNet has recorded 194 cargo thefts in first-quarter 2015, up 7% compared with first-quarter 2014, and this number is expected to rise because of delayed reporting.

More than U.S. $23 million in cargo was stolen in first-quarter 2015, U.S. $14 million more than in first-quarter 2014. The average loss value also increased to U.S. $83,329 per theft.

California reported the most cargo theft losses, 30 in first-quarter 2015. Texas followed closely with 27. Georgia and New Jersey each had 24 and Florida with 20, rounding out the top five states with the most cargo thefts.

Texas and several other states have pending cargo theft legislation that, if passed and signed into law, CargoNet expects will make cargo theft a less appealing crime in those states.

Warehouses and distribution centers continued to be the most common theft locations, with 23% of cargo thefts occurring there. Cargo theft was also common at truck stops, 16%; parking lots, 10%; and unsecured yards, also at 10%.

Thirty-three percent of cargo thefts were of food and beverages, but electronics was the most costly category in first-quarter 2015, U.S. $8.19 million despite making up only 13% of losses.

Fictitious pickups were 12% of all cargo theft losses this quarter. Seventy-nine percent of fictitious pickup losses in first-quarter 2015 occurred in the eastern half of the United States. Fifty percent of fictitious pickup losses occurred on Thursdays, 30% occurred on Fridays.