Cargo theft increased 46% in Q1: CargoNet

Criminal activities impacting the logistics and transportation industry reached new highs in Q1, 2024, Verisk’s CargoNet reports. This year, the organization documented 925 incidents, a 46% increase compared to the same time last year, and a 10% rise from Q4, 2023. 

On average, the stolen shipment value in Q1 was $281,757, while the declared total value was $76 million. By extrapolating the average shipment value across events without a declared value, CargoNet estimates that a total of $154.6 million worth of goods were stolen during this period.

Sharp theft spike in Illinois, California 

While the number of reported events spiked in most states in the U.S., Illinois has seen a 126% year-over-year increase. Cargo thefts in California increased by 72%. While commodities like small appliances, liquor, energy drinks and copper were targeted the most, in general, thieves stole a wide array of goods from carriers. 

The graphic represents cargo theft trends in Q1, 2024
(Image: CargoNet)

Most of the threat was rooted in complex fraud schemes, where entire truckloads were picked up and never delivered, or delivered with digitally altered paperwork to hide the theft from the customer, CargoNet said in a news release. 

However, simple cargo theft that includes theft and pilferage of unattended, loaded trailers remained an issue as well. Such thefts mostly occurred in Southern California, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Atlanta, as well as in the corridor transiting New York, North Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania.

Looking ahead to the second quarter and beyond, CargoNet anticipates that high levels of non-delivery thefts and strategic shortages will persist. 

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  • I think that all new trailers should have a GPS installed where it can’t be found or disabled. Of course that might stop some thefts but criminals have high tech as well.