Truck Cargo Thefts Drop 11% March Through May, Average Loss Jumps

  • June 18, 2014

The number of truck cargo theft has declined but the value of each heist has increased dramatically, according to a new report from the logistics security services provider FreightWatch International.

In this quarter it recorded a total of 183 thefts in the U.S., with 80 thefts in March, 55 in April and 48 in May. The average loss value per incident during the period was $242,010. Compared with the previous quarter, thefts decreased by 11%, while the average loss value increased by 89%.

Electronics, with 34 thefts, was the product type most often stolen in this rolling quarter. These thefts comprised 19% of all incidents. Products targeted in this category include televisions, mobile phones and mixed consumer electronics. The food/drinks industry experienced 30 thefts, 16% of the total, mainly consisting of meats, packaged foods and carbonated drinks. There were 20 thefts, 11% of all incidents, in the home/garden product type, including appliances, home décor items and cleaning supplies.
Six of the 13 FreightWatch product types experienced fewer thefts this quarter than during the previous three months.

Florida experienced the most thefts with 45 incidents. This is an increase over the 42 thefts recorded in Florida for the previous rolling quarter. California followed with 37 incidents, a decrease from 57 incidents the previous rolling quarter. Florida claimed 25% of all U.S. incidents during March, April and May, an increase from 20% the previous three months. California’s share totaled 20% of all incidents, a drop from its 28% share the last rolling quarter. The 27 thefts in Texas, 15% of the total, and 20 in Georgia, 11% of the total, made them the third and fourth hardest hit states.

Of the incidents in which a location type was recorded, unsecured parking was the most common by far, with 120 thefts, 87% of the total.

Following the normal trend, thefts of trailers/containers, 152 in all, were most common during the rolling quarter, representing 80% of all thefts. Thefts from trailers/containers decreased from 13 incidents the previous three months to 10, or 5% of the total. Deceptive pickups also fell, from 13 incidents to nine during the March-May rolling quarter. The other types of thefts; nine facility burglaries, two driver thefts and one attempted hijacking; together claimed 7% of the total during this rolling quarter.

The pharmaceuticals sector had the highest average loss value this quarter at $5.6 million. Clothing/shoes, which experienced 13 thefts, averaged $540,218 in losses. Electronics followed, with an average loss value of $425,420, resulting from two reported thefts with losses over $1 million. The average loss value in the alcohol/tobacco product type increased from $85,250 to $168,627 this rolling quarter, putting it in fourth place.