US, Canada see a spike in cargo thefts in Q3

CargoNet recorded 692 incidents of cargo theft across the US and Canada in the third quarter of 2023, a 59% increase compared to the same period of 2022.

The cargo security specialist said the three-month period saw a high number of attacks in which criminals used stolen motor carrier and logistics broker identities to obtain freight and misdirect it from the intended receiver so they could steal it, continuing a trend that was evident in the second quarter of the year.

All told, thieves stole goods worth more than $31.1m from shipments in the third quarter, down from $44m in the second quarter. Documented strategic cargo theft events increased 430 per cent year-over-year and theft of a loaded conveyance such as a full trailer were up 4 per cent. These kinds of thefts were most common in California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Illinois.

According to CargoNet, cargo theft groups have widened their preferred commodity targets to include truckload shipments of metal like copper, brass, and aluminium, apparel – especially officially licensed sports apparel – and shipments of personal care and beauty products.

There was also a significant increase in the ‘other’ category, which combines several categories of reports like identity theft complaints, hostage loads, late shipment complaints, and other kinds of criminal intelligence records.

“As we enter the final quarter of 2023, there is no indication that cargo theft activity will slow in the domestic US,” said CargoNet. “We anticipate that strategic cargo theft will remain at unprecedented levels of activity throughout the quarter.”

It is warning specifically about fraud against small motor carriers or owner/operators with the intent of hijacking their accounts or convincing them to solicit shipments from logistics brokers on their behalf.

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