CargoNet warns of high theft activity in fourth quarter

by Today's Trucking

CargoNet on Thursday reported 359 supply chain theft and fraud incidents across the United States and Canada in the third quarter of 2021.

There were 294 theft incidents that involved theft of a trucking vehicle like a semi-truck or theft of cargo, according to a press release. This is a 19% decrease from third quarter of 2020, but 2020 was a record-setting year for theft and when compared to the third quarter of 2019, theft reports are up 13%.

CargoNet graphic
(Photo: CargoNet)

Theft reports along the West Coast of the U.S. increased 42% year-over-year. This comes as no surprise, as California continues to struggle with frequent thefts of high-end computer electronics shipments.

Other regions of the country reported a reduction in theft when compared to third quarter of 2020, but each region had increased at least 16% in the third quarter of 2020 when compared to third quarter 2019.

Reported theft dropped the most in the Northeast – 74% year-over-year. In part, this is due to a reduction in full truckload cargo theft in the New York metropolitan area and enforcement action taken against an interstate trailer burglary group that frequented truck stops on the I-81 corridor in Pennsylvania. 

Theft reports in the Southwest decreased 32% year-over-year, but this was after a staggering 246% year-over-year increase in third quarter of 2020.

Crime in Texas was responsible for the fluctuations and we attribute the decrease in crime to police actions against organized crime rings based in Illinois and Texas, CargoNet said.

Computer electronics shipments

Cargo thieves continued to show a strong preference for computer electronics shipments and nearly 70% of these thefts in the third quarter of 2021 occurred in California. In contrast, household products thefts dropped 63% largely because CargoNet recorded fewer pilferages of these products.

Entering into the final quarter of 2021, CargoNet expects that theft activity will remain elevated. “We are concerned about targeting of computer electronics shipments shipping from California, as well as a breakout of full truckload cargo thefts spreading across the eastern half of the United States,” CargoNet said.

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