Seeking to leverage extended business closures during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, cargo thieves will be on the prowl.

To assist supply chain professionals, CargoNet, a Verisk business, reviewed theft data from 2019 to 2023 for the Thursday prior to Memorial Day to the Wednesday after.

During the holiday period there were 146 events reported with an average of 29 events per year.

The stolen cargo in each event was worth an average of $264,016, mainly as a result of three thefts that exceeded $1 million in property stolen.

The data from the past five years shows a rise in theft events, with 16 events in 2022, increasing to 40 events in 2023.

Seventeen percent of recorded thefts occurred on Friday, and a significant number of thefts also occurred on Wednesday (15 percent) and Tuesday (15 percent).

Food and beverage items were the most stolen (24 incidents) and cargo thieves targeted a wide range of products in this category.

Household items were the second most targeted commodity with 23 incidents, and electronics had 18 reported incidents.

A sharp rise in highly technical shipment misdirection fraud schemes across the United States has been uncovered, according to CargoNet.

Fictitious pickup and fraud complaints have reached record-breaking numbers.

Geographically, California (43 incidents) remains the most at-risk state and has nearly double the reported incidents from the second most reported state (Texas at 22 incidents), the data revealed.

Most of the misdirection fraud has taken place in California, but some shipments have shipped from other states and have been misdirected to California.

Enhanced security measures are recommended, particularly in the identified high-risk states and locations and for the most targeted commodity categories.

“Industry professionals should be on high alert for unauthorized attempts to misdirect shipments from the intended receiver,” CargoNet stated.

The Verisk company recommended that before accepting a bid on a shipment, logistics brokers should consider enhanced carrier qualification practices including (a) verifying with the registered FMCSA phone number or email, (b) monitoring FMCSA SAFER for recent MCS-150 form updates, which may indicate unauthorized changes to a motor carrier’s contact information, (c) checking for established, positive load history.

Shippers should also consider enhancing sign-in procedures to capture vital information about the truck and driver picking up a shipment.

CargoNet highlighted high dollar thefts from previous memorial Day weekends:

  • $3,974,370 in pharmaceuticals in Clermont, Fla.
  • $1,600,000 in pharmaceuticals in Clermont, Fla.
  • $1,000,000 in electronics in Kennesaw, Ga.
  • $623, 913 in pharmaceuticals in San Francisco, Calif.