It’s been the hottest target on the black market since 2010, accounting for 19% of all cargo thefts in 2012…food. This trend has carried over into the first quarter of 2013 with food and beverage thefts making up 24% of stolen cargo at an average of $141,266 per incident, according to FreightWatch.
Food and beverages are hot black market items for a variety of reasons:
*Lack of Security: According to CargoNet’s Vice President of Operations Keith Lewis, “food and beverage cargo is popular because this product is often not secured as well as bigger ticket items” such as pharmaceuticals and electronics which carry high-tech tracking equipment.1
90% of cargo theft occurs while in transit via trucks, resulting in an annual loss of $35 billion, according to Tyco Integrated Security. It goes without saying that stolen products, even if recovered, run a high risk of contamination concerns. Road Scholar Transport specializes in product safety and security, cutting back on the handling of your products, which could lead to contamination, by offering 24-hour expedited service, dock-to-dock with NO transfers. We can provide the exact route that the truck took with a time log noting every door opening/closing, temperature conditions within the trailer at any given time, and its exact location (right down to the breadcrumbs), along with protecting your freight with security features including Navalock. Visit www.roadscholar.com to learn more about our services.
*Higher Returns: As Tyco Integrated Security explains, although an average food theft incident has a loss of $100,000 compared to nearly $1 million for electronics, on the black market food is much more valuable, with food products being worth 70 cents on the dollar while electronics bring in 30 cents on the dollar or less. 2,3
In the past month, we’ve seen food and beverage thefts that resulted in stolen shipments valued as high as $200,000 worth. Here are a few examples:
*Last month, 3,000 cartons of hamburger patties worth $100,000 were stolen from a shipping yard in New Jersey. The patties, which were never recovered, are thought to be an insider job in which an employed tipped the thief off.
*What would hamburger patties be without cheese? Also last month, 21 tons of muenster cheese was stolen 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.
*$75,000 worth of Campbell’s soup was stolen in April after a tractor was stolen from a Florida truck stop. 3 Fortunately, the truck was equipped with GPS and the load was recovered.
*Earlier this month, 15,303 bottles of BluePrint juice worth $153,000 was stolen from a Long Island City warehouse by a fraudulent driver. When the real driver showed up hours later, the company realized it was a heist and fortunately, was able to recover the stolen load and destroy the products due to contamination concerns.
Contact us below for a list of strategies that can help prevent your products from contamination risks.
Why do you believe food is the most targeted product by thieves? Do you believe that accessibility and poor security measures are the number one reason?