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Cargo theft firms issue warnings ahead of July 4 weekend

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Source: CargoNet

Cargo theft firms CargoNet and FreightWatch International have released warnings and recommendations ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend.

CargoNet said between July 2 and July 9 from 2012 to 2015, truckloads of non-alcoholic beverages, major appliances and copper were some of the most popular thefts. With July 4 falling on a Monday this year, CargoNet warns thefts could be worse than normal.

“Cargo theft has always spiked during holiday weekends, but we expect a particularly bad July 4th since it falls on Monday,” the firm said in its warning. “Many truckers will park their trucks on Thursday or Friday and will not check on them again until Tuesday.”

FreightWatch said it recorded an average loss value of $1.1 million during July 4 weekend last year, which is six times higher than the average during the rest of the year.

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Tips from CargoNet to prevent theft while in-transit.

CargoNet said that between 2012 and 2015, it recorded 119 cargo thefts, with food and beverage items being the most stolen. The firm estimated $10.63 million in losses during this four-year period.

To protect against cargo theft, CargoNet suggests truckers avoiding high-theft metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta and Miami, and by parking in high-security locations with security services, secure fences and good lighting. FreightWatch recommends as little downtime as possible and lining up schedules with shippers and receivers during the holiday weekend.

The top five targeted states, according to CargoNet, have been California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Illinois.

Notable thefts reported during the July 4 holiday period in recent years include:

•Full truckload of cell phones worth $5.7 million in Washington
•Cell phones worth $2 million in Miami
•Apparel and accessories worth $1.3 million in Newport, Tenn.
•Electronics worth $500,000 in Carnesville, Ga.

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Matt Cole is an Associate Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at mattcole@randallreilly.com.