Wednesday, March 5, 2014

US Freight Crime Monitor Turns the Spotlight on Theft of Cargo in the Supply Chain

Country is Still at 'High Threat Level'
Shipping News Feature

US –Supply chain security provider FreightWatch has released its annual US Cargo Theft Report which recorded 951 major cargo thefts throughout the United States in 2013, coincidently exactly the same amount as recorded in 2012 and tying for the highest level of theft incidents on record. With an average of 79.25 cargo thefts per month, the US sustained cargo thefts at a rate of 2.6 per day in 2013 and of these thefts, 691 (72.66%) were full-truckload or container thefts and 65 (6.83%) were less-than-truckload losses.

FreightWatch warned that although the number remained steady, the threat of cargo theft continues to grow in the US due to increased organisation and innovation on the part of the thieves. Overall, the US is ranked as high threat level for cargo thefts on the FreightWatch five point risk scale, which ascends from low to moderate, elevated, high and finally to severe.

Despite the levelling off of recorded cargo theft incidents in 2013, a few product types experienced an increase in theft activity over 2012, most notably pharmaceuticals, which jumped by 50%, and food/drinks, which rose by 34.4%. New Jersey experienced a 158% jump in food/drink thefts, with an unusual concentration on seafood and California logging 92% of all recorded thefts of nuts, unsurprisingly the majority of which the report goes on to identify as being walnuts and almonds, a state speciality.

For the fourth consecutive year, food and drink was the product type most often stolen in 2013, accounting for 27% of all cargo theft. Electronics rose from third to second place, logging 14% of thefts, while metals fell from second to tie with home/garden products in third with 10% of all thefts each. In concluding the report FreightWatch said:

“Although the volume of reported cargo theft incidents has not risen in the past year based on the data collected, the threat of cargo theft in the United States is still on the rise. This is due, in part, to the continued increase in the level of organisation and sophistication of criminal groups focusing on cargo, and the relatively minor penalties often associated with cargo crime. There continues to be a massive underreporting component to cargo theft in the United States, which makes it difficult to paint the complete picture.

“FreightWatch does expect these trends to continue in 2014. As such, FreightWatch would encourage everyone in the logistics community to continue to share information, so that we as an industry can continue to combat the criminal element and secure the global supply chain.”