JERSEY CITY, N.J. — CargoNet officials say theft reports have reached the second-highest levels of the year and that all supply chain professionals should be concerned with theft risk.
“The unprecedented crime wave affecting over-the-road freight transportation in the continental U.S. shows no signs of slowing down,” a CargoNet news release stated.
CargoNet noted that attacks target a wide variety of goods from every state in the continental U.S., but attackers have shown a preference for stealing truckload shipments of solar panels, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, motor oil and consumer electronics.
According to the news release, attacks can be mitigated with enhanced security protocols. Shippers should consider recording information about the motor carrier, driver and vehicles used to pick up a shipment for investigative follow-up in case a shipment is stolen. Logistics brokers should build sophisticated compliance programs to detect motor carrier identity theft, especially if a commodity has been frequently targeted.
To help members of the supply chain mitigate risk, CargoNet examined theft trends around the past five Labor Day holidays, from 2018 to 2022. In total, CargoNet recorded 156 theft events, with an average cargo value of $151,726 per event.
Theft was highest in 2022, with 44 events, according to CargoNet. Cargo thieves generally prefer to steal valuable shipments of televisions, computers and major appliances. Thefts are most common near major supply chain hubs in Southern California; the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area; Chicago; Memphis, Tennessee; and Atlanta.
There were no fictitious pickups reported in five-year analysis period CargoNet says — but even so, these kinds of thefts are the main threat professionals should look out for this year.
CargoNet warns of increased targeting of shipments of building materials such as shingles, lumber and power tools in response to extreme weather events in the Southeast. Shipment misdirection schemes, a kind of fictitious pickup, remain the most pervasive threat to domestic OTR freight transportation during the Labor Day weekend period.
CargoNet has recorded more than 600 shipment misdirection attacks or attempts since November 2022. In these schemes, attackers impersonate a motor carrier to gain authorization to transport a shipment. They then hire a motor carrier to deliver the shipment to a location to which the attackers have access so they can steal the shipment. Attackers often impersonate two or three different companies to disguise their identities and deceive victims.
Noteworthy thefts from previous Labor Day holidays include:
- $1,088,983 in seafood stolen from Sioux City, Iowa.
- $800,000 in footwear stolen from Memphis, Tennessee.
- $713,000 in apparel and accessories stolen from Eastvale, California.
- $417,206 in computer electronics stolen from Ontario, California.
- $400,000 in vodka stolen from Jacksonville, Florida.
The Labor Day holiday analysis period consists of the Thursday before Labor Day to the Wednesday after Labor Day, this year, Aug. 31-Sept. 6.
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