Fourth of July Holiday Heightens Risk of Freight Theft

Theft activity for the Fourth of July weekend in 2020 was at its highest since 2016. - File Photo: Doleco

Theft activity for the Fourth of July weekend in 2020 was at its highest since 2016.

File Photo: Doleco

An average of 25 freight thefts were recorded between July 1 and July 7 for the previous five years, CargoNet reported based on a review of theft data.  

The average stolen shipment was worth $145,699 per event, according to CargoNet data.

Activity for the Fourth of July weekend in 2020 was at its highest since 2016 and increased by 123% over the previous year. Forty-two percent of theft events occurred on a Friday or Saturday in this analysis.

 - Graphic: CargoNet

Graphic: CargoNet

In previous years, household goods and food and beverage items were the most commonly targeted commodities. This would include items like appliances, toys, alcoholic beverages and seafood.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused shortages and price inflation of specific goods and we think the items most affected — like computer electronics — are the items most at-risk this holiday,” CargoNet officials said in a press release. “Cargo thieves will seek to exploit extended business closures this upcoming holiday to steal more cargo.”

California, Texas, Florida and Illinois recorded the most thefts in the company’s analysis period.

Crime Trends

Computer Electronics Departing Warehouses in California

CargoNet is tracking an ongoing theft risk to shipments of computer electronics departing warehouses in California. CargoNet has recorded over 50 thefts of electronics shipments in the state since September 2020 and thefts have increased 89% when compared to the previous year. On average, each full truckload theft event was worth $595,928 and each partial truckload $197,157.

Full Truckload Cargo Theft Activity in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Texas

0 CargoNet has noticed a recent spike in full truckload cargo thefts in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Texas. Preliminary investigations indicate that one or more sophisticated cargo theft groups may be stalking truck stops along major interstates and surveilling shipper’s warehouses with the intent to follow and steal once the shipment is left unattended.

“Supply chain professionals can step up security by arranging for same-day delivery of short-haul shipments, embedding covert tracking devices, and by using high-security locks to prevent trailer burglaries,” CargoNet officials advises.  “Drivers should adhere to the “red-zone” rule and avoid stopping within 250 miles of pickup. Drivers should also be on the lookout for any vehicles that appear to be following them and avoid leaving trucks and trailers unattended for long periods of time.

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