Reported Cargo Theft Incidents Up 17% in 2011

NU Online News Service, March 30, 12:02 p.m. EST

The coordination of data-sharing between law enforcement and the transportation and insurance industries has improved, says CargoNet.

The result of this evolving collaboration is a report showing a cargo theft reporting. According to CargoNet’s 2011 U.S. cargo theft report, there was a 17 percent increase in reported theft incidents at the close of 2011 compared to the close of 2010.

CargoNet says there were 1,035 incidents reported at the end of 2010. Last year there were 1,215 reported thefts. The cargo theft risk information source says a lag in reporting resulted in a total of 1284 reports in 2010. If the same trend continues in 2011, there will be 1,507 reported theft incidents.

“This report is an example of the how far we’ve come in public-private collaboration efforts at a time when budgetary pressures make such strategic alliances more important than ever,” says Tony Canale, vice president of Verisk Crime Analytics, in a statement. “We have to go much further but the momentum is building.”

Verisk Analytics and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) formed CargoNet in 2009, in part because most cargo thefts were going unreported, which made it difficult to recognize weaknesses and risks in the transportation of goods—or determine the value of stolen goods.

As reporting increases, it is easier to measure supply chain risks and take steps to mitigate them. Companies can see trends as data is accumulated from theft victims, business partners and law enforcement officials.

For instance, data suggests thefts are more likely to occur in highly-populated areas with busy container ports because it is easy to resell the items. Additionally, the longer the haul, the higher the chance it will be stolen. Thefts occur most often from Friday to Monday—when trailers and warehouses are left unattended during non-working hours.

Food and beverages became the most-stolen commodity in 2011, followed closely by electronics, says CargoNet.

In 2011 there was an increase in low-value (under $500,000) cargo and a decrease in mid-value and high-value cargo.

According to CargoNet, California has the most reported cargo thefts. The top 10 states for cargo theft (see chart) account for 85% of reported thefts in 2011.

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