Cargo thefts fall, but value increases

The number of cargo thefts in the second quarter of 2013 fell 12 percent from the same quarter in 2012, according to a report from FreightWatch International, but the average value of a theft rose 27 percent compared to 2012’s second quarter, the report says.

In the quarter, 194 thefts were recorded with an average loss value per incident of $164,594, FreightWatch says.

These numbers, however, compared to the first quarter of this year, represent a 4 percent increase in value and a 15 percent decrease in volume.

Forty-five thefts were reported in April, 66 in May and 83 in June.

Food and drink loads accounted for 31 percent of the thefts in the quarter — 60 of the 194 — and the most stolen loads. Targeted loads, said FreightWatch, included meats, fruits and energy drinks.

Electronics, mostly TVs and computers, accounted for 22 thefts (11 percent), the second most stolen type of load, while building and industrial loads — mostly roofing shingles — made up 10 percent (19 thefts) of the total.

Metals, home/garden, pharmaceuticals and miscellaneous loads accounted for 7 percent each of the stolen loads. Auto and auto parts loads made up 8 percent, alcohol and clothing loads each made up 4 percent and tobacco accounted for 2 percent. Cosmetics and personal care loads made up the remainder.

The top five states for cargo theft remained California, Texas, Illinios, Florida and Georgia. Those five states, along with New Jersey, accounted for 80 percent (156 thefts) of the total in the quarter.

Unsecured parking accounted for 109 of the thefts, FreightWatch says.

Following trends, trailer thefts made up 73 percent of the thefts, while deceptive pickups — a type of identity theft — accounted for 13 thefts, down from 21 in the first quarter of this year.

Last-mile courier and theft of container each accounted for eight thefts, tying them for third in theft event type.

The number of violent methods, like hijacking, remained low.

Thefts of loads of alcohol had an average value loss per incident of $571.329. Stolen loads of tobacco averaged $365,000, while clothing/shoes loads averaged $322,500 per loss. Electronic loads averaged $238,462. Auto/parts loads were the least valuable in terms of average at $81,690 per load.

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