The risks of cargo theft activity in the U.S. are ‘extremely high’ this Thanksgiving holiday, CargoNet warns.
“The risk during this upcoming holiday is unlike any recent year,” reads the report.
While thieves look to take advantage of unattended loads, the organization adds that carriers should particularly watch out for strategic and full truckload cargo theft, as these threats have been increasing at alarming rates.
Since November 2022, the industry has seen a sharp increase in theft reports – the average number of theft reports filed per week has increased to 51 events per week, a 64% increase compared to data collected between 2012 and October last year.
This year alone, between Oct. 1 and Nov. 11, CargoNet recorded an average of 66 reports per week, an increase of 113% when compared to data collected in the last 10 years.
Strategic cargo theft
In the past year, strategic cargo theft groups have been taking advantage of the major holiday seasons, as logistics brokers are under pressure and more likely to make mistakes, CargoNet says.
Since last month, 433 new thefts have been reported – this is a more than 100% increase year over year. Fictitious pickups and identity fraud made up 35% of those thefts.
Thieves obtain a load by impersonating a motor carrier or using an authority they have registered or have been given access to.
However, CargoNet points out that lately, crime groups increasingly started to represent themselves as an outsourced dispatch service.
“They were hired by multiple motor carriers, and gained access to their emails, load board accounts, and FMCSA accounts to effectively “hijack” the authority and use it to get load tenders and steal truckload shipments,” reads the report. Thieves had additional credibility in victims’ eyes as they were communicating through official accounts.
More than half of strategic cargo theft was carried out in California, most frequently in the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Orange. Most of the goods stolen included nutrition supplements, motor oils, auto parts, apparel, solar energy generation items, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Full truckload threat
Due to unattended loads during holidays, truckload theft risks are increasing, too.
According to CargoNet, thieves concentrate efforts on shipments of construction equipment, ATVs, non-alcoholic beverages, as well as major and small appliances.
Thefts were common in Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta Metro Area, Florida hubs like Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami, as well as in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties in Southern California.
The organization calls on the industry to report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement and contact CargoNet afterward when there are no immediate threats to life or property.
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