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Increased Cargo Thefts Pressure Trucking Industry

Increased Cargo Thefts Pressure Trucking Industry



cargo thefts trucking industry

Cargo thefts that surged in 2023 continue to rise in 2024. CargoNet reported 925 theft incidents in Q1 2024, a 46% increase over the same period in 2023. California saw the most significant spike with a 72% increase, followed by Texas with a 22% rise. California, Texas, and Illinois are the top targeted states.


J.B., a truck driver, had his trailer broken into at a Transport America truck stop in South Dallas. Despite security measures, thieves stole half a pallet of snack cakes. J.B. experienced significant delays in filing a police report, highlighting the prevalence and frustration surrounding cargo thefts.


Sophisticated Theft Methods


Cargo theft has evolved to include sophisticated methods like social engineering, where criminals use phishing to obtain carrier credentials. Once accessed, they divert loads to thief-controlled locations. Double brokering scams involve setting up fake carriers and brokerages to trick legitimate carriers and brokers, netting significant profits before moving on to new fake identities.


Diverse Theft Targets


Warehouses and distribution centers are also prime targets. Items like small appliances, liquor, and copper are heavily targeted. Many thefts involve shipping misdirection, with entire truckloads being stolen through fraudulent paperwork.


Protective Measures


To combat these schemes, diligence is key. Travelers Insurance recommends:

  1. Research Company Information: Verify motor carriers, freight forwarders, and brokers through the FMSCA’s unified registration system and industry associations.

  2. Verify Driver Identification: Confirm driver details at pick-up points and use secure pick-up numbers.


Limiting digital account access can also enhance security, allowing for targeted responses to breaches without compromising entire systems.


Cargo theft remains a significant challenge, requiring ongoing vigilance and strategic measures to protect freight from increasingly sophisticated theft tactics.


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