© Vitpho |44711710
© Vitpho

Secure parking remains one of the most important methods to prevent theft, according to the latest cargo crime data by FreightWatch.

Its US Cargo Theft report notes that 82% of thefts take place at unsecured parking stops. Warehouses account for 15%, while thefts from secured parking comprised just 3% of thefts in the second quarter.

There were 166 recorded freight thefts in the US in 2Q, evenly spread over the three months. The average loss value was reasonably high – $154,184 – 35%  higher than in the previous quarter and a 26% decrease in volume. Unusually, no cargo thefts of more than $1m in value were recorded.

Food and drink was the most stolen product type, accounting for nearly a quarter of all losses. Electronics made up 13%, followed by home and garden ware and clothes and shoes (10%).

As in the first quarter, California was the site of most of the cargo crime – 40% – while full truckloads suffered the most, at 78% of reported thefts. Pilferage rose to 11% of total thefts from 9% in Q1, while fictitious pick-ups rose to 9 9%.

To help the industry understand the risks, FreightWatch is focusing on a different commodity each quarter: this period it studied electronics, a sector less affected by seasonality as it is by product launches and opportunity.

“Televisions and displays have always commanded the largest share of electronics thefts,” says the report.

“Examining a 24-month timeframe, the rate of televisions and displays account for 34%. However, their average theft value was $130,992, which was 74% lower than the average loss for all electronics thefts, at $508,705. Software, components and peripherals recorded the highest average value of any subtype at $1,270,142, 150% higher than the average for all electronics thefts. Cell phones and accessories claimed the second highest average value at $1,068,908 and accounted for 10% of electronics thefts.”

FreightWatch warned that cargo thieves continually adapt to new security challenges.

“New threats will take shape in the form of new theft methods and new targeted products. High value alone will not be the determining factor in theft risk to cargo, as thieves will adjust to the increased risk and modify their efforts accordingly,” it said.

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