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Cargo Theft on the Rise

February 29, 2024 Zuleika Medina

It’s no secret that in the last year, cargo theft incidents in the supply chain have seen a significant increase. Per CargoNet, Q3 2023 saw a 59% increase in cargo theft in the U.S. and Canada compared to Q2 2022. Cargo thieves stole over $31.1 million in shipments in the third quarter of 2023, with the top stolen commodities being food, beverages, and household goods. While the thefts can occur at any point in the supply chain, warehouses, distribution centers, and truck stops are the top targeted locations.

During her recent guest appearance on the Stay In Your Lane Podcast (hosted by Triple T Transport) Avalon’s Vice President, Northeast Region, Kathy Schricker discussed various tactics used by cargo thieves to steal loads. “[There have been] cases where loads were booked with fictitious companies who stole the identity of a real carrier, and it is not until the theft occurs that the carrier realizes that their identity has been stolen.” In other cases, Kathy indicates loads are booked with actual carriers, but they are intercepted at some point by individuals posing as the carrier.

The problem has gotten so bad that some insurance companies will no longer write certain policies for property brokers or will only do so with extensive exclusions. The FMCSA has a Broker and Carrier Fraud and Identity Theft Alert that may help Brokers and Carriers protect themselves.

Read the FMCSA Fraud Prevention Tips

Despite taking preventative measures, there is still a possibility of falling victim to fraud. If this happens, the FMCSA recommends the following steps:

  • Report the incident to your local law enforcement agency.
  • Report the incident to the U.S. DOT Office of the Inspector General.
  • File a complaint with the FMCSA National Consumer Complaint Database.
  • Contact your insurance company, load boards and factoring companies to let them know your company’s information has been fraudulently used.
  • Post on social media and website to inform your customers.
  • Ensure your phone number(s) on the FMCSA SAFER system are visible and correct.
  • Conduct frequent checks of your FMCSA Carrier Profile and report any incorrect information.

Please refer to the FMCSA’s Broker and Carrier Fraud and Identity Theft Alert for additional information. We recommend you review your insurance policies thoroughly to ensure comprehensive coverage and avoid any potential gaps in coverage should you find yourself in a situation where you need to file a claim. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your insurance options.


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The Quest Newsletter is designed to provide critical information in the transportation industry. Avalon Risk Management is not responsible for the accuracy or reliability of information contained in articles. The reader/user assumes all risk in the use of such information.