Cargo theft trends came out of 2022 with severe momentum. That trend has continued with elevated numbers for the second quarter of 2023, causing industry stakeholders to caution carriers and offer information on how to protect freight.
“Cargo theft is at a 10-year high right now,” said Scott Cornell, transportation lead and crime and theft specialist at Travelers. “January was up 61% year over year, February was up 49% year over year, and March was up 82% year over year.”
Cargo theft security network CargoNet recorded 582 thefts across the U.S. and Canada in the second quarter of 2023, a 57% increase compared with the second quarter of 2022. These shipments were valued at over $44 million altogether. Notably, the average shipment value per theft increased nearly $100,000 to $260,703 as thieves focused increasingly on high-value shipments.
Strategic theft, or theft using deceptive means such as stolen identities instead of force or the threat of force, are primarily to blame for the increase. According to CargoNet, much of the increase is due to ongoing shipment misdirection attacks, a kind of strategic cargo theft in which actors use stolen motor carrier and logistics broker identities to obtain freight and misdirect it from the intended receiver so they could steal it.
“If you separate out the strategic theft category,” Cornell said, “from November to March… that’s up over 600%.”
Read more in an article from FleetOwner.