Home Truck News Cargo theft on the rise in Q3: CargoNet  - Truck News

Cargo theft on the rise in Q3: CargoNet  – Truck News

Cargo theft in Canada and the U.S. increased by 59% in the third quarter, compared to the same time last year, CargoNet reports. The organization recorded 692 thefts that cost the industry over US $31 million. 

The majority of the cargo stolen in Q3 can be attributed to shipment misdirection attacks, which remain an ongoing issue in the transportation and logistics sector. This is an example of strategic theft, which allows attackers to use stolen carrier and broker identities to intercept and misdirect goods from their original destinations. 

This image shows CargoNet's chart, reporting cargo theft trends in Canada and the U.S.
Illustration: CargoNet

While the documented strategic cargo theft increased 430% year-over-year, the amount of stolen full-trailer loads increased by 4% as well. 

According to CargoNet, a significant spike was recorded in the “Other” cargo category, too. It combines different reports that include identity theft complaints, hostage loads, late shipment complaints, and other criminal activities. 

California, Texas and Illinois remain the states with the highest theft activity, followed by Florida and Georgia. 

New commodities targeted

While the most common stolen commodities include household goods, food and beverages, strategic theft groups have also acquired a taste for truckload shipments of metal like copper, brass and aluminum, CargoNet says in its 2023 Third Quarter Supply Chain Risk Trends Analysis. 

The organization adds that officially licensed sports apparel and truckload shipments of personal care and beauty products are also now at risk. 

And thieves show no sign of slowing down, especially with the approaching Christmas holiday season.  

“As we enter the final quarter of 2023, there is no indication that cargo theft activity will slow in the domestic United States,” the report reads.

“We anticipate that strategic cargo theft will remain at unprecedented levels of activity throughout the quarter.”

Small carriers, beware

Smaller fleets have to be especially careful this season, CargoNet warns.

While strategic theft groups continue pioneering new theft methods, they have shown a particular interest in perpetrating fraud against small motor carriers or owner-operators, aiming to avoid identity theft checks that logistics brokers may conduct before tendering a shipment. This is achieved by hijacking carriers’ accounts or convincing them to solicit shipments from brokers on their behalf.

However, many of such crimes go underreported. 

The organization calls on the industry to report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement and contact CargoNet afterward when there are no immediate threats to life or property.


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