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Cargo thieves active during Memorial Day weekend, firms warn

CargoNet measured Memorial Day week losses over the last four years, along with the day with the most thefts.

CargoNet measured Memorial Day week losses over the last four years, along with the day with the most thefts.

FreightWatch International and CargoNet have each issued warnings, along with recommendations, to carriers and drivers regarding annual increased cargo theft activity during the Memorial Day weekend.

FWI said in past Memorial Day weekends it has seen elevated theft levels up to 40 percent higher than non-holiday weekends. In 2015, the firm saw a record-high 15 cargo theft incidents averaging more than $600,000 in value.

CargoNet reports that in the last four years, 98 cargo thefts have occurred during the same weekend.

FWI recommends drivers and carriers confirm receiver’s hours of operation for the holiday weekend to make sure they’re consistent with scheduled delivery times, as well as staying up to date with industry best practices for in-transit and warehouse security.

221 cargo theft incidents reported in first quarter

221 cargo theft incidents reported in first quarter

Food and drinks continued to be the most stolen product type in the quarter, accounting for 20 percent of total thefts in the U.S.

Additionally, FWI has recorded a recent spike in cargo theft activity of electronics and cosmetics in the last five weeks with some losses exceeding $3 million. Targeted products include televisions, cell phones and laptops with three recent incidents in southern California, and perfume and cologne thefts along the eastern seaboard.

Notable Memorial Day weekend cargo thefts in recent years include:

  • 2015 – New Jersey, full truckload of tobacco accessories worth $600,000
  • 2015 – Pennsylvania, full truckload of copper worth $600,000
  • 2015 – California, full truckload of notebook computers worth $400,000
  • 2015 – New Jersey, full truckload of perfume worth $2.5 million
  • 2014 – Florida, full truckload of televisions and displays worth $800,000
  • 2014 – South Carolina, full truckload of cosmetics worth $200,000
  • 2013 – Florida, full truckload of medication worth $300,000
  • 2013 – California, full truckload of apparel worth $300,000

Security tips and best practices from CargoNet can be in this infographic distributed by CargoNet:

CargoNet-MemorialDay-2

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