Atlantic Provinces Cargo Theft Reporting Program Kicks Off

FREDERICTON, NB — A trucking group along with insurance and law enforcement interests are joining forces to bring a national cargo theft reporting program to Atlantic Canada.

The move announced on Wednesday by the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA); the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), an association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers; and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) follows the launch last year in Ontario of the Cargo Theft Initiative.

This effort is to raise awareness of the dangers and costs associated with cargo theft and to assist in the recovery of stolen goods, according to the groups. Historically, cargo theft has often gone unreported because there are so many different parts of the transportation process that it can be overlooked.

The success of the program is illustrated in a case that occurred last summer in Ontario. The cargo theft reporting database – the heart of the program – facilitated communication between insurance companies and law enforcement leading to the return of $1.4 million worth of goods following a police raid.

“I am extremely pleased by the joint efforts the RCMP and the Insurance Bureau of Canada have taken to address the growing problem of cargo theft in our province. It is a major issue across Canada but one that is growing in our province and it’s affecting our economy, local businesses, our livelihood, and local trucking companies,” said Jean Marc Picard, executive director, APTA.

He said cargo theft in New Brunswick represents tens of millions of dollars and can be so severe they can shut down businesses due to the costs associated with the thefts. 

“One stolen trailer can be worth up to $250,000 in value, therefore it can put a business under overnight. Truck transportation is the number one mode to move goods in our province, an industry that is important to our economy and employs over 20,000 people.  It’s imperative that we collaborate as a team and develop strategies to solve this problem,” Picard said.

The reporting of cargo theft has been sporadic, which makes property recovery and prosecution a challenge, according to the groups. Although some trucking companies do report their losses, others do not for fear of a damaged reputation, a negative impact on their business and customer confidence, and increased insurance premiums. When losses are not reported, stolen property cannot be identified or recovered, and thieves are not prosecuted.

The effects of cargo theft reach beyond its direct impact on the Canadian economy. Cargo that is stolen and sold in illegal markets shifts revenues from legitimate businesses to criminals and depletes tax revenues. There is also the potential for violence in perpetrating cargo crime, putting the well-being of truck drivers and other industry employees at risk.

The Cargo Theft Initiative began as a pilot reporting project in 2011 in Ontario and Quebec. Working with the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and member companies, IBC collected, analyzed and shared cargo loss information with law enforcement agencies. The project was an important first step in gathering consistent information on these crimes and led to several recoveries of stolen trailers and consumer goods, according to IBC.

The IBC also urged the public to report cargo theft. Anyone with general information that would assist in combating cargo theft can call IBC’s confidential 1-877-IBC-TIPS line (1-877-422-8477) or go online at to its website to fill out a tip form that can be sent to IBC anonymously. 

“Reporting crime as soon as possible is one of the most effective ways to solve and prevent further incidents. As the police, we need that information,” said. Chief Superintendent Wayne Gallant, New Brunswick RCMP criminal operations officer. “By knowing where and when criminals are active, we’re able to investigate and do the analysis required to catch and charge those responsible and help prevent further incidents. The RCMP in New Brunswick is pleased to support this effort to encourage more people to report cargo thefts. By working together, we are helping to make cargo shipments travelling in this province more safe and secure.” 

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