With the Rise in Cargo Thefts: Is Your Shipment Safe?

Global trade has exposed businesses to new risks, with cargo theft becoming a big threat, causing delays in the flow of goods and creating serious financial implications for shippers. Due to an increase in organized cargo theft in the United States, large amounts of items are not reaching their final destinations. In fact, cargo theft is at a 10-year high. According to a recent report, there were 1,183 reports of cargo theft in 2023, which resulted in a total of $694,327,811 in stolen goods. The average loss per claim, at $586,917, is 67% higher than the average in 2022. It is projected that this figure is only expected to increase in 2024.

Why the Increase in Cargo Thefts

The significant uptick in cargo thefts is in part due to businesses that are looking for supplies that are hard to come by and are willing to pay for high-demand products, even if they are obtained illegally. Buyers are accepting products through anonymous online websites that they do not know anything about. These websites promise brand new goods that are still in their packaging, however, they have been stolen.

The main target for cargo thieves are high-value products that can be easily moved. For example, batteries, razor blades, and pharmaceutical goods. Commodities such as food, alcohol, electronics, and other household goods are also desirable for cargo theft because they can be liquidated easily.

Strategic Cargo Theft

Cargo theft is continuously evolving and becoming more intricate. There are more incidences of strategic cargo theft, which involves using stolen motor vehicles to obtain freight and misdirect it from the actual receiver. Strategic plans often involve methods that trick the shipper into giving up the freight such as fake pickups, double brokering, or even identity theft.

States such as Florida, California, Texas, Kentucky, and Georgia are the most targeted areas for thefts. Even though members of a large cargo theft ring were arrested last year in California, some of these members have set up new crime rings throughout the country. This group created a network of fake carrier identities to get information about distribution centers to commit thefts and double loading.

Protecting Against Cargo Theft

There are some ways that shippers can protect themselves against cargo theft such as these proactive measures:

Better Security: As theft strategies evolve, so does the technology that prevents them. Companies that invest in advanced security technologies such as GPS tracking systems, RFID tags, cameras, and tamper-evident seals will be able to mitigate the risks of theft. These technologies provide shippers with valuable information about how their supply chain is operating in real time. Real-time visibility enables the shipper to track their shipment throughout the process to cut down on the chance for theft.

Review Recent Changes to Carriers: In order for shippers to determine if they are working with legitimate operators, they should check for the carrier’s information listings or if the carrier’s operating authority is current. Recent changes to the carrier’s contact information like address, email address, or phone number are red flags and should be confirmed with the carrier.

Supply Chain Partnerships: Preventing against theft requires a collaborative effort among involved parties. All employees that handle cargo should be screened and checked. Comprehensive training on recognizing theft and reporting procedures will make for knowledgeable employees that can help detect theft before it happens. Strong partnerships within the supply chain with carriers, logistics providers, retailers, and trade associations will also mitigate the risks of cargo theft.

Data Analytics: Technology platforms can be used to analyze historical shipping trends to identify situations in which cargo theft most often occurs so prevention strategies can be developed. AI-powered predictive analytics is also helping to change supply chain security as advanced algorithms can identify vulnerabilities within the shipping process. Prevention is preferable to reactive procedures in preventing theft.

Blockchain Technology:  Blockchain technology can improve supply chain security by creating a digital ledger that records the movement of goods. Once it has been recorded, it cannot be changed. This technology offers transparency throughout the supply chain and reduces the risk of fraud.

Verizeal for Preventing Cargo Theft

The growing threat of cargo threat is a concern for every shipper. The real-time insights and blockchain security that is offered by Verizeal can ensure that shipments are not at risk to cargo theft. Verizeal’s technology that is backed by blockchain can significantly increase visibility throughout the supply chain and cut down on the chances of theft or damage to your shipments.

Scroll to Top