JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A Jersey City, New Jersey-based data-and information-sharing company working with trucking carriers and law enforcement to combat cargo theft is warning about a rise in Thanksgiving weekend crime.
CargoNet officials say they are tracking organized cargo theft groups who are operating in almost every region of the country.
From California to Maine, thieves are “carrying out sophisticated targeting operations to steal specific kinds of goods,” according to a new CargoNet report.
Over the past five years — from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Monday after — total losses from cargo thefts totaled more than $7.1 million. Of the thefts, 118 were reported, and the average loss was more than $183,000, CargotNet’s report stated.
California had the highest number of thefts, followed by Illinois and Texas.
Top commodities stolen were electronics, food and beverages and household goods, respectively, CargoNet’s report stated.
The top locations for thefts were parking lots, warehouses, distribution centers and truck stops.
Theft reports were most frequent the Friday after Thanksgiving, according to CargoNet.
Thefts occurred most frequently in San Bernardino County, California, Cook County, Illinois, Los Angeles County, California, and Fulton County, Georgia, respectively.
RECENT CARGO THEFT TRENDS
There are several regional trends that CargoNet’s analysts say they are most concerned about this upcoming holiday weekend, including:
- Sophisticated identity fraud and cargo theft schemes targeting truckload shipments of solar panel modules, tree nuts, small appliances and designer apparel in southern California.
- Theft of loaded trailers of high-end consumer electronics, apparel, housewares in Kentucky and neighboring states.
- Theft of loaded trailers and containers of building materials, apparel, appliances, and food products in Eastern Georgia, Southern Georgia and Northeastern Florida.
- Theft of loaded trailers of food and alcohol, apparel, and other various goods in northeastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey and New York City.
CargoNet officials said they “implore organizations that are tendering shipments over the internet to verify details of all transactions prior accepting a bid. Shippers should warn motor carriers of misdirection theft schemes and verify the intended delivery address with the driver prior to loading. Public cross-dock facilities operating in Southern California should be wary of new customers offering all-cash payment and promising lucrative future business.”
Further, CargoNet officials said that industry professionals can protect against trailer burglaries and theft of loaded trailers by arranging for same-day delivery of short-haul shipments, embedding covert tracking devices in shipments and on vehicles, along with using high-security locks.
Additionally, drivers should not leave their vehicles or shipments unattended in insecure locations like retail parking lots or truck stops, especially within 250 miles of pickup.
If it is necessary to leave property unattended, CargoNet recommends someone check on it as frequently as possible.
On average, it took about a day for a victim to notice their property had been stolen in this analysis, but this increased to more than two days if the property was left unattended the day before Thanksgiving. Drivers should also be on the lookout for any vehicles that appear to be following them from the origin point.
Click here for a fact sheet and tips about avoiding cargo theft.
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.