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Thanksgiving Brings an Increase in Cargo Theft

November 17, 2022 Avalon

Thief holding an open padlock with cargo container in the background

As Thanksgiving approaches, cargo thieves use the holiday to ramp up their criminal activity. Long holiday weekends tend to have an increased number of cargo thefts in part because many businesses have extended closures. According to CargoNet data, thefts were highest on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

According to the Sensitech Supply Chain Intelligence Center (SCIC), in the second quarter of 2022, they recorded 214 cargo thefts in the U.S. The average loss value per incident during this time was $371,369. The most targeted items were electronics at 22%.

Cargo thieves are active in places such as truck stops, parking lots, and warehouses where cargo can be left unattended. They are also becoming more strategic in their methods. For example, cargo thieves often look for loads being brokered late on a Friday afternoon in hopes that time constraints will result in less stringent vetting of the carrier. Some individuals will commit identity theft and pose as legitimate truck drivers to get loads and sell them on the open market. Phishing emails are also one of the types of cyber attacks criminals are using to steal freight. Once hackers get into a company’s network, they have access to sensitive customer and load data. This allows them to get pickup and delivery information as well as bank information.

Here are some precautions you can take to mitigate your risks:

  • Have regular training for all employees to recognize and prevent cargo theft techniques.
  • Do not leave loaded trailers unattended whenever possible.
  • Use high-security barrier seals with hardened padlocks.
  • Work closely with shippers to confirm the identification of drivers at the point of pick-up, identifying information on the truck and trailer being used, and the use of secure pick-up numbers.

As your trusted partner, we want to make sure that you are fully protected. Our Shipper’s Interest Cargo Insurance coverage provides for these types of risks. For more information, contact us. We hope you stay safe and your cargo is secure this holiday season!

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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.