Industry news

Cargo theft is on the rise. It is spreading like a wildfire. As reported by FreightWaves, this has been at an all-time high for over ten years. The thieves are becoming more and more clever each day. Mary Sandoval, whose name has been hidden, gave a prime example. She sent a truck to pick up a load in Laredo. To her shock, the truck went missing as soon as it left the facility. Nobody seems to be aware of where the truck is. Nobody has heard from them, and no one knows where the avocados went.

It is now the second time in a year that strategic thieves have hit her business. The company must now pay over $200,000 worth of damages from their pockets. According to Sandoval, cargo theft is not new. It has hit very many companies, leaving them with lots of damage. She worries that not enough people are acting upon it to have it shut down. He talks of another lady in Texas who has lost six loads in a year. The woman says she cannot afford to pay and is now considering closing down her business.

Cargo theft in numbers

The numbers are on the rise at an alarming rate. The rate rose by 68% in the fourth quarter of 2023. The surge is compared to the numbers in the fourth quarter of 2022. The surge was at 57% in the third quarter of 2023 compared to 2022, which was the same period. The trend is quite scary. The numbers are hitting a record in ten years. The numbers in 2024 are not promising either. The year started at a rate that showed that the number would be even higher than last year.

The number of strategic cargo thefts is consistently on the rise. The thieves are using identities and authorities that may be stolen to redirect cargo from the intended recipients. They use various tricks to make one release freight. Some of them use double brokering as a means to scam companies. These are the means leading to increased cargo theft, especially in the last close to two years.

Food, beverage, electronics, and household goods have been the main targets. California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky are the main hotspots for cargo theft. Some of the thieves were arrested last year. The challenge is that they were able to get away from authorities and have continued to cause issues. They have, over time, spread all over the country, causing havoc. They have also become cleverer to avoid the law. Most of the products stolen are easy to move. The thieves easily resell them locally.

Dealing with cargo theft

FMCSA does not have any rules about how warehouses handle carriers. It is all up to the traders to be careful while dealing with the carriers. They must get the identification details before releasing the cargo. They must also check if the address and contact details are available. They must also be aware of any recent changes in the carriers' details. If there are any changes, they must seek valid verification. More often than not, these changes are a sign of a fraudulent carrier. As much as the authorities are working on dealing with the cargo thieves, the warehouses and companies are responsible for ensuring no red flags. If any, they should report or get valid verification.

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