Cargo Thefts Continue to Trend Up

Cargo thieves stole more than $19.5 million in cargo from the country’s supply chain in three months

Jersey City, NJAugust 13, 2015—From April through June, cargo thieves stole more than $19.5 million in cargo from the country’s supply chain. Nationwide, cargo theft increased 8 percent in second-quarter 2015 year over year. The total estimated value of stolen cargo was up $8 million when compared year over year. April had the most recorded cargo thefts in the United States (70). Cargo theft gradually decreased in May (67) and again in June (57).

Cargo theft was highest in California, with 36 reported cargo thefts, followed by Texas (35) and Florida (27). As predicted in the CargoNet first-quarter 2015 report, cargo thefts in New Jersey decreased significantly (55 percent from first-quarter 2015), but thefts in that state are still trending slightly higher than second-quarter 2014.

Twenty-nine percent of cargo thefts recorded this quarter occurred at truck stops and parking lots. Nine percent of all recorded cargo thefts were classified as fictitious or fraudulent cargo pickups. Two percent of all recorded cargo thefts were violent, either hijackings or armed robberies.

Food and beverage items were the most stolen commodity of second-quarter 2015. Various kinds of nuts and alcoholic beverages were the most targeted items. Household items were the second most stolen commodity. Thieves targeted a wider variety of products within this category. Some of the most targeted included major appliances, lawn mowers and furniture. Theft of electronics ranked third, but was the most expensive category ($7.9 million). Televisions were the most stolen electronics item, but cell phones and computers were very close behind. The average cargo theft was worth about $168,308 in stolen goods, but some categories such as electronics were much higher. The median theft was worth $338,464.

CargoNet is a division of Verisk Crime Analytics, a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business.