In a new report, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) identified 747 incidents of cargo theft in 2010, totaling more than $171 million.
California topped the nation with 247 theft incidents, followed by Texas with 91, Florida at 66, Illinois at 56, Tennessee with 40 and Georgia at 39.
The NICB noted that major cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Memphis, Chicago and Atlanta have extensive cargo and transportation facilities, which provides thieves with easy access to large amounts of cargo.
Electronics, food and clothing were the top three commodities stolen in 2010.
In comparison to other organized crimes, thieves view cargo theft as “low-risk,” the NICB said. There’s also a potential for high profits, since most goods can be resold online, at flea markets and overseas.
According to the NICB’s report, most thefts happen within 200 miles or four hours of the driver’s starting point. Criminals follow drivers and steal the cargo within five minutes after the driver stops.
Another growing trend is fraudulent pickups, where thieves access load information online, impersonate a legitimate carrier and secure a contract for transport. After the goods are stolen, the fraudulent driver and fake trucking company disappear.
The NICB provided several tips to help reduce cargo theft, such as pre-employment screening, personnel training, obtaining in-transit security and periodic supply chain audits.
The full report can be found here .
This article was originally published by Avalon Risk Management in their monthly newsletter, The Quest. Avalon is an industry leader in providing cargo insurance.