In an announcement released about a week before the Christmas holiday, Verisk’s CargoNet reported that extremely elevated supply chain theft activity was expected to continue into the holiday season with experienced cargo thieves exploiting “a target-rich environment of unattended trucks and closed warehouses.”
While theft and fraud complaints filed with CargoNet between August 1 and Dec. 14 were up 27 percent year-over-year, the complaints filed just between Dec. 1 and Dec. 14 were up 40 percent.
Between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2 for the past five holiday seasons, there were 176 incidents reported to CargoNet, with an average cargo theft value of $116,030, and the number of incidents rising progressively each year.
Electronics commodities like televisions and computers were favored by cargo thieves but commodity preferences closely mimic consumer demand, CargoNet said, suggesting that the cost and scarcity of some food and beverage products like meat and seafood would make them attractive targets this year.
Cargo thieves also target shipments of tires, motor oil and major appliances.
Particularly noteworthy heists from past years included the thefts of 507,105 theft of tequila from Tampa, Fla., and thefts of $500,000 and $417,000 of footwear from Douglasville, Ga. and Portland, Oregon.
Other findings from CargoNet’s analysis:
- Incidents were most common in Texas and California in prior years.
- Thieves most often stole unattended vehicles and shipments parked at major retail parking lots and truck stops.
- Recently, cargo thieves have been misrepresenting themselves as legitimate truck drivers to logistics brokers and bidding on truckload shipments of solar panels, cryptocurrency mining equipment, motor oil, tires, appliances and more. If their bid is accepted, the thieves will misdirect the shipments.