Shocking Statistics about Cargo Theft


A new report finds that the number of recorded cargo thefts and the average value of the freight attacks declined in 2015. But, regardless of this data, cargo theft is a real problem. Cargo’s value continues to increase, and thieves are sophisticated. Cargo theft is estimated to cost shippers and trucking companies at least $30 billion a year in the US, according to the FBI.

Most cargo theft occurs on the weekend and when the freight has been left unattended. In 2012, food and drink were the most targeted cargo, accounting for 19% of all thefts that year. Although pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics are a popular target, food and drink items are still the number 1 most targeted freight, accounting for about 28% of all stolen cargo in 2015. Building and industrial materials are growing targets for freight thieves.

A quick look at cargo theft numbers:

  • There is an average of 63 cargo thefts per month.
  • Florida, California, and Texas see the highest frequency of cargo theft.
  • Warehouse burglaries are the highest-value incidents because of the volume of products in one location.
  • 49% of thefts occur between Friday and Sunday.
  • 90% of cargo theft in the US occurred at an unsecured or unattended location.
  • 61% of cargo theft loss occurred at a truck stop or official rest stop.

Can you stop your freight from being targeted and stolen?

Not entirely. But, there are approaches and best practices to follow in order to improve your freight’s security.

  • Drivers are the first defense against cargo theft. Make sure the driver is aware of the freight’s value and sincere threats.
  • Increase communication among shippers, 3PLs, carriers, and law enforcement. Shippers can choose to vary the shipment route to deter crime. Today’s thieves plan and survey the freight they want to steal and changing routes can throw them off.
  • Encourage regular warehouse inspections. During an inspection, identify any vulnerabilities in the freight’s security.
  • Track inventory, so that it can be quickly discovered if there are any significant changes.
  • Stay current on what’s happening in cargo theft trends. Cargo could be targeted based on seasonality or location.

Thieves will constantly look for ways to beat your security procedures, but by maintaining communication and inspection routines, your freight can get to its destination safely.

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