Cargo theft continues to skyrocket in 2023

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Sept. 29, 2023:

Cargo theft up 57% year over year in second quarter

CargoNet Q2 cargo theft trendsCargoNet recorded 582 cargo thefts worth nearly $45 million in the second quarter of 2023.CargoNetCargo theft recording firm CargoNet recorded 582 events across the United States and Canada in the second quarter of 2023, a 57% increase when compared to the same quarter in 2022.

Much of the increase owes to ongoing shipment misdirection attacks, a kind of strategic cargo theft in which bad actors use stolen motor carrier and broker identities to obtain freight and misdirect it from the intended receiver so they can steal it.

In total, thieves stole over $44 million in shipments in the second quarter of 2023 and the average shipment value per event increased nearly $100,000 to $260,703 as cargo thieves focused on high-value shipments.

In the second quarter, theft of a loaded conveyance such as a full trailer increased 17% year-over-year. These kinds of thefts were most common in California, Texas, Florida, and Illinois. CargoNet also noted that regional activity around New York City and Philadelphia was significant.

Burglary of a loaded conveyance decreased slightly year-over-year due to the impact of recent law enforcement activity but still remains a significant threat to shipments, especially high-value shipments that are traveling on the I-40 corridor through Arizona, California and New Mexico.

CargoNet has also seen significant growth in extortion and theft by conversion schemes, particularly from organized groups in Illinois and California. These groups focus on obtaining shipments from brokers, tacking on extra and often exorbitant fees for various manufactured reasons like overweight tickets or previous rate penalties charged to non-affiliated motor carriers. Criminal enforcement for such cases is complex and rare, which has emboldened organized groups.

Finally, CargoNet recorded 127 more fictitious pickups year-over-year. Fictitious pickups were most common in the Los Angeles metro area, but they occurred all over the continental U.S. Fictitious pickup groups stole shipments from 39 different product categories in the second quarter but primarily focused their efforts on a smaller grouping of freight, including alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages -- specifically soda and energy drinks -- solar power energy generation equipment, and various kinds of automobile supplies.

Partner Insights
Information to advance your business from industry suppliers

This style of fictitious cargo pickup relies heavily on subcontracting the shipment to a legitimate motor carrier and having the shipment misdirected to another address.

Motor carriers should be wary of new customers that want them to haul a blind shipment delivering to an address different from the bill of lading, especially if the address is a public warehouse or cross dock in California.

[Related: Convoy launches proactive fraud defense to fight double-broker networks]

ATHS expanding trucking hall of fame with new inductees

The American Truck Historical Society will induct seven trucking industry leaders into its American Trucking and Industry Leader (ATIL) Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 2 p.m. at its home office at 10380 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, Missouri.

The new inductees are:

  • Robert A. Young Jr., founder of ABF Freight
  • Ted Rodgers, first president of American Trucking Associations
  • Frank Seiberling, founder of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
  • Harry Kent and Edgar Worth, founders of Kenworth
  • Al and Don Schneider, founders of Schneider National

“This year marks the third year that ATHS will honor pioneers of the trucking industry,” said Hall of Fame Chair Tom Mullen. “We invite the public, especially those in the truck transportation truck sector, to learn about the significant impact each of these pioneers has made upon the trucking industry and moving America forward.”

In addition to recognizing the merit of these pioneers, there will be lots to see at the event. Kenworth will be displaying some of its trucks from throughout the years to continue its 100th anniversary celebration.

The Hall of Fame is made possible in part with funding from Cummins, Daimler Truck North America, Old Dominion/Congdon Family, Vander Haag’s, CAT Scale, Iowa 80, Truckomat, Schneider Foundation, Mack, Hagerty, Walmart Transportation, Women in Trucking, and OOIDA.

Inland Truck Parts & Service expands in Montana

Inland Truck Parts & ServiceThe Belgrade location is Inland's third in the state and 37th location overall.Inland Truck Parts & Service has acquired Powertrain Driveline Express of Belgrade, Montana.

The companies will both operate out of the Inland location at 209 Yukon Lane. It will be managed by Don Linder, who previously managed Inland's Billings, Montana, location. 

"When we expand into a new area it naturally brings a high level of excitement to the business," Linder said. "Moving into Belgrade and then quickly adding driveline services to our offering should allow us to deliver a great value to the heavy-duty trucking industry here in Belgrade."

The Belgrade location is Inland's third in the state and 37th location overall. Other facilities are in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. 

"The Belgrade-Bozeman area is the fastest growing market in Montana and a great fit for Inland," said Greg Klein, president and CEO of Inland. "Adding this location will help us better serve our customers in Montana. Now, customers will get what they need faster and more efficiently." 

Inland will celebrate its 80th anniversary next year.