Cargo theft frequency up in 3Q, value per load down


cargo theftThe number of cargo theft incidents in the third quarter of this year rose 15 percent of the second quarter of 2013, while the average value per stolen load dropped 5 percent, according to FreightWatch International, who produces a monthly report based on reported reported cargo thefts. 

A total of 231 thefts were reported in the three-month period, and the average loss value per incident was $154,866. Seventy-four thefts were reported in July, 76 in August and 81 in September, FreightWatch says.

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Compared to the same quarter in 2012, the number of incidents is the same, but the value per load lost is 15 percent lower. 

FreightWatch’s data shows food and drink loads remained the hottest targets, with 21 percent (49 thefts) of the quarter’s total. Meats, dry and canned goods and water were the most targeted food and drink loads. 

Loads of electronics accounted for 13 percent (29 thefts), and thieves primarily went after loads of television and computer components, according to FreightWatch. 

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Home and garden loads made up 11 percent (25 thefts) of the total. Appliances and cleaning products were the hot targets there, FreightWatch says. 

Rounding out the top 5 are loads of metals (9 percent) and the miscellaneous category (8 percent). 

In the quarter, loads of clothing and shoes had the highest average loss per incident at $$403,553. Electronics loads had the second highest, $287,258, and alcohol and tobacco loads were third, $195,068. 

Incidents involving theft of trailer/container accounted for the vast majority of thefts in the quarter, 73 percent (169 thefts), and theft from trainer/container accounted for 18 thefts. Driver theft, which involves either direct theft by the driver or some type of driver involvement in the theft, accounted for 17 thefts — an 89 percent increase from the second quarter of the year. 

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Thefts by “deceptive pickup” — thieves fraudulently posing as drivers to receive loads from shippers — accounted for 14 thefts in the quarter.

Seventy-one, 31 percent, of the thefts occurred in California. Florida had 30 thefts reported, and Illinois and Texas each had 28. Georgia saw 15, and New Jersey had nine. 

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