Home Truck News Fictitious pickups dominate Labor Day cargo theft risks: CargoNet - Truck News

Fictitious pickups dominate Labor Day cargo theft risks: CargoNet – Truck News

Reported cargo thefts reached their second-highest levels of 2023 last week, and CargoNet is encouraging the trucking industry to watch for fictitious pickups during the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

It’s the main threat to carriers operating in the U.S. during the holiday this year, even though there was no such type of theft reported during the Labor Day weekends between 2018 and 2022.

Overall, 156 loads – each averaging $151,000 in cargo — were stolen over a five-year period between the Thursdays before Labor Day and Wednesdays after the holiday, CargoNet says.

Forty-four of these events were recorded last year – the highest number since 2018. Goods targeted in previous years included electronics and appliances, in supply chain hubs such as Southern California, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Memphis, and Atlanta.

This year, however, due to extreme weather in the U.S. Southeast, building materials such as shingles, power tools and lumber are also at an increased risk of fictitious pickup.

cargo lock
(Photo: istock)

Shipment misdirection attacks remain “the most pervasive over-the-road freight transportation this upcoming holiday,” CargoNet said in a press release.

Since last November alone, CargoNet recorded 600 attempts in which fraudsters used a stolen motor carrier identity to steal cargo and direct it to a different location.

“Attackers often impersonate two or three different companies to disguise their identities and deceive their victims,” it said.

To mitigate the risks, CargoNet tells shippers to track carriers, drivers and vehicles that are involved in cargo pick-ups – details that could be used during investigations if businesses fall victim to such crimes.

Strengthening logistics broker compliance programs is also recommended to better detect motor carrier identity theft. 

Noteworthy thefts from previous Labor Day holidays

  • $1,088,983 in seafood stolen from Sioux City, IA
  • $800,000 in footwear stolen from Memphis, TN
  • $713,000 in apparel and accessories stolen from Eastvale, CA
  • $417,206 in computer electronics stolen from Ontario, CA
  • $400,000 in vodka stolen from Jacksonville, FL


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