Eat, drink, and be merry (that is, if you don’t get caught). At least that’s the motto among cargo thieves who primarily targeted food and beverages in the 1st quarter.
In a scoring system that evaluates the level of risk for cargo theft ranging from Low, Elevated, Moderate, High, and Severe, the United States is placed on a high alert. In fact, according to FreightWatch International, the United States is among the countries ranked the most at risk, joining Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and Russia.
After a record breaking 2012 in which 946 incidents of US cargo theft were recorded, FreightWatch International released data from 2013’s 1st quarter, showing a 25% decrease in thefts from 2012’s 4th quarter. Although typical of declines in 1st quarter activity, the 188 cargo thefts recorded between January and March 31st were lower than 1st quarter 2012 results in which 273 incidents were recorded, demonstrating a promising decrease in thefts expected this year.
FreightWatch reports an average loss of $141,266 per incident with food and beverages being the product of choice, resulting in 46 occurrences, 24% of all thefts. 1
Pharmaceuticals, which announced a drop both in number and value last year, 30% of 2012’s cargo thefts, ranked the second most stolen product (13%), with 24 thefts.
Electronics, another decreasing trend, dropped to 12% in the 1st quarter followed by metals at 10%, and alcohol (8%). 1
But while some products were on the decline, increasing occurrences of deceptive pickups were reported, rising from a mere 8 in 2009 to 18 in 2013’s 1st quarter alone.
Just last month an Illinois man was arrested for stealing 21 tons of muenster cheese with the intention of selling it to East Coast retailers at a discounted price. Venjamin Balika pulled into Pasture Pride Cheese in Wisconsin and presented them with false paperwork which he used to secure 42,000 lb. of cheese manufactured by K&K Cheese in Wisconsin. The shipment, which contained 1,135 cases of cheese, enough to make nearly 250,000 sandwiches, was valued at $200,000 and scheduled to deliver to a Texas location.
If our brightly colored awareness trucks do not distinguish us from fraudulent carriers, Road Scholar Transport allows our customers to easily verify drivers online via Regiscope at http://www.roadscholar.com/verification.php so you can ensure that your products are being picked up by legit and qualified drivers.
According to FreightWatch’s report, trailer thefts resulted in 115 thefts (61%) with 110 of the total thefts being in unsecure parking areas and 22 occurring at facilities.
Fortunately, only 2% of cargo theft in the US involves violence, the exact opposite of the rising number of thefts in Mexico which are mostly violent. 2 While US 1st quarter cargo thefts decreased to 188, Mexico’s incidents reached 303.
To read FreightWatch’s 2013 Global Cargo Theft Assessment visit
Road Scholar Transport is helping you prevent the risk of cargo theft with the following tips:
-Do not leave cargo unattended. If necessary, be sure that the trailer is in a secure area.
-Vet out carriers and verify drivers prior to trusting them with your freight.
-Utilize trailers equipped with security features including satellite tracking, navalock, geo-fencing, and electronic door monitoring.
Contact us below for a list of ways Road Scholar is combating cargo theft.
What changes in cargo theft do you expect to see this year compared to last? Product-wise, location-wise, methods of theft,…etc. Do you expect cargo theft to decrease, increase, or remain the same compared to last year?