New study highlights cargo theft trends

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WARREN, N.J. — A new study by Chubb Group of Insurance Company concludes that cargo theft usually occurs on the weekend and that electronics, food and clothing are the most sought-after cargoes.

The US study also found that truck stops and rest areas are the most commonly-targeted locations for cargo thefts, accounting for one-third of all incidents. Modal yards and unsecured locations such as drop lots and motel and restaurant parking lots followed.

“Cargo thieves are opportunists, and these statistics indicate where, when and how they are likely to strike and the type of goods they are likely to target,” said Barry Tarnef, a marine loss control specialist for Chubb Marine Underwriters. “Although many incidents go unreported, cargo crime in the United States is estimated to cost businesses several billions of dollars per year.”

The study included more than three years of cargo theft data, collected form the International Cargo Security Council, Transported Asset Protection Association, news reports and insurance claims. Fifty-two per cent of all cargo thefts examined occurred on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The study found 39% of the thefts occurred at rest areas. Hijackings accounted for 3% of cargo thefts.

In more than 15% of the cases, consumer electronics such as TVs and DVD players stolen. Food and food products accounted for 14% of stolen cargo with clothing and footwear following at 10%.

Tarnef urged businesses to take the following steps to reduce the risk of cargo theft: thoroughly pre-screen employees; carefully select transportation partners and intermediaries; establish a secure culture within your company; train drivers on theft prevention; route shipments to avoid high-risk areas and don’t allow drivers to stop within the first four hours of their starting point (in case they are being followed); and conduct periodic security audits.

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