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Cargo theft trends impacting North American transportation industry

Cargo theft trends impacting North American transportation industry - Route Newsletter: February 2023

The North American Transportation sector experienced a 15% spike in reported cargo thefts in 2022, with the highest percentage of these incidents occurring during the final quarter of the year. The cargo theft prevention and recovery network, CargoNet, informed of an alarming 1,778 recorded cargo thefts throughout Canada and the United States during the last calendar year, with an average value of USD$214,104 per event.

As the supply chain disruptions continued to be one of the main concerns during the past year, scarcity and cost drove the illicit market demand for goods. The most frequently targeted items included household goods, electronic components and food related products.

CargoNet warns that the transportation industry needs to take steps to mitigate fictitious cargo pick-ups, a growing strategy, which blends identity fraud and cargo thievery, affecting all parties within the supply chain. Data shows 100 more recorded fictitious pick-ups in 2022 compared to the year prior, a 600% increase year-over-year.

“What we’re seeing is different, it’s a generational change,” said Keith Lewis, vice president of operations at CargoNet. “We still see trailers stolen from the side of the road, but the fraud is really what drove the numbers up. We went from 16 fraudulent thefts in 2021 to 116 or so last year. It’s very complicated how they’re doing it. It’s so complicated that law enforcement has a hard time figuring it out. They’re using load boards and they’re using unsuspecting drivers.”

With the continuous geo-political world crisis, as well as the expected downturn in the economy, many companies are predicting an increase in cargo thefts and attempts this year. Clients and shippers alike are encouraged to work closely with their transportation providers to ensure all parties involved are being thoroughly vetted to minimize any potential risks, as the involvement of organized crime continues to expand within the transportation industry.

For more information, contact William Sanchez, Manager – Truck Services.

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