JERSEY CITY, N.J. — CargoNet has recorded 582 cargo thefts across the United States and Canada in the second quarter of 2023, a 57% increase when compared to the second quarter of 2022.
According to a news release, much of the increase is due to ongoing shipment misdirection attacks, a kind of strategic cargo theft in which actors use stolen motor carrier and logistics broker identities to obtain freight and misdirect it from the intended receiver so they could steal it.
In total, thieves stole more than $44 million in shipments in the second quarter of 2023 and the average shipment value per event increased nearly $100,000 to $260,703 per theft as cargo thieves focused on high-value shipments, according to CargoNet.
In the second quarter of 2023, theft of a loaded conveyance, such as a full trailer, increased 17% year-over-year.
CargoNet is also reporting a significant growth in extortion and theft by conversion schemes, particularly from organized groups in Illinois and California.
These groups focus on obtaining shipments from logistics brokers, tacking on extra and often exorbitant fees for various manufactured reasons like overweight tickets or previous rate penalties charged to non-affiliated motor carriers. Criminal enforcement for such cases is complex and rare, which has emboldened organized groups, CargoNet officials noted.
Finally, CargoNet recorded 127 more fictitious pickups year-over-year. Fictitious pickups were most common in the Los Angeles area, but fictitious pickups occurred all over the continental United States. Some counties recorded a significant problem due to their local industry like Maricopa County, Arizona, Travis County, Texas, Chambers County, Texas, and DeKalb County, Georgia.
Fictitious pickup groups stole shipments from 39 different product categories in the second quarter of 2023, but primarily focused their efforts on a smaller grouping of freight. This includes alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, specifically soda and energy drinks, solar power energy generation equipment, along with various kinds of automobile supplies, including auto parts, fluids, oils and tires.
“This style of fictitious cargo pickup relies heavily on subcontracting the shipment to a legitimate motor carrier and having the shipment misdirected to another address,” the news release stated. “Logistics brokers and shippers can help prevent fictitious cargo pickups by verifying any bids on shipments with the motor carrier through their contact information on file with the FMCSA and verifying the name of the motor carrier and driver matches who the shipment was tendered to. Motor carriers should be wary of new customers that want them to haul a blind shipment delivering to an address different from the bill of lading, especially if the address is a public warehouse or cross dock in California.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.