Cargo Crime Wave: $223 Million in Goods Stolen in 2022

What’s New: A Quick Look At 2022

Cargo theft is a growing concern in the US and Canada, with an estimated $223 million in cargo stolen during 2022. According to a new analysis by Verisk’s CargoNet, the company recorded 1,778 supply chain risk events in these countries last year, a 15% increase from 2021. Supply chain concerns were one of the top concerns of the year because of their impact on inflation. Scarcity and cost spurred illicit demands for goods most affected by supply chain issues, like computer graphics cards, raw beef, poultry, pork and even luxury sneakers. Available capacity eased in the later months of the year, but theft remained a prominent risk.

Heavy Commercial Losses

Events involving the theft of at least one heavy commercial vehicle such as a semi-truck or trailer were up 17% year over year, while events involving the theft of cargo spiked by 20% annually. The average value of cargo stolen in an event was $214,104. An estimated $223 million in cargo was stolen across all cargo theft events last year.

Theft Hotspots

2022 saw significant increases in theft around major intermodal hubs. California remained the top state for reported theft events in 2022, with theft in the state spiking by 41% year over year. Computer and green energy components were among the most frequently stolen items in 2022, and California is a major logistics hub for these items. Theft in Georgia also spiked by 34% year over year, partly driven by organized crime groups taking advantage of increased traffic at the Port of Savannah.

Commodities Targeted

Household items were the most commonly stolen commodity last year. This category includes appliances and furniture, which are often targeted during long-haul and final-mile distribution. There was also an increase in theft of shipments of tools and toys. Theft of electronics closely followed theft of household items, with a 37% decrease in theft of computer electronics last year, but still elevated compared to baseline levels. Luxury sneakers and other fashion items were also targeted, as the demand for them increased significantly in the market.

Sneakers

As the market demand for luxury sneakers continues to rise, so do the instances of sneaker-related cargo thefts. These thefts are often carried out by organized crime groups who are aware of the high value of these items and capitalize on the opportunity to steal them along the way to their destination. This trend poses a growing concern for the industry and companies are still in the process of adapting to these new supply chain vulnerabilities and are taking the extra precautions to protect their precious footwear cargo during transportation.

Fictitious Pickups

CargoNet also noted a significant increase in fictitious cargo pickups, with 96 more fictitious pickups in 2022 compared to the prior year, a 600% year-over-year increase. Most fictitious pickups occurred in California, but the crime is spreading across the country. Shipments of solar modules, auto parts, and vehicle maintenance products were most at risk from fictitious pickup, but the threat extends to most categories of goods.

Keep These in Mind

As cargo theft continues to rise, it’s crucial that the industry takes action to combat this growing issue. Companies must implement necessary precautions to protect their cargo and shipments, particularly in high-risk areas such as major intermodal hubs. Additionally, the industry must come together and find new ways to address the problem of fictitious pickups to ensure the safety of cargo and the integrity of the supply chain. At Optimum Logistic Solutions, we understand the importance of cargo security and will soon be releasing an article with tips on cargo theft prevention. Stay tuned!

Until next time, be safe, be well & keep on truckin!
The Optimum Logistic Team

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