U.S. Sees Major Q4 Spikes in Cargo Thefts

U.S. Sees Major Q4 Spikes in Cargo Thefts

The 2014 SC –ISAC Q4 report details a major surge in the volume of cargo thefts in the U.S. According to the report, “We had been seeing a somewhat downward trend in the incidents, but this trend has stopped and reversed.”

What is SC-ISAC?

The U.S. Transportation System is identified as one of sixteen critical infrastructures by Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Supply Chain- Information Sharing and Analysis Center (SC-ISAC) is an outstanding partnership and liaison for information sharing between Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the nation’s supply chain.

Q4 Report Critical Numbers:

  • Turnaround? U.S. freight and logistics companies saw a whopping 259 incidents of cargo theft in Q4 alone. This statistic is up significantly across the board:
    • 40% higher than the 165 incidents in Q3 2014
    • 30% surge over the 182 incidents in Q3 2013
    • Combined, Q3 and Q4 2014 statistics total 424 cases, a full 47 more, or 12% higher than 2013 for the same period.

  • Which States? Texas continued to lead in cargo thefts for the quarter, followed by the usual victims, Florida, California, and New Jersey. Georgia and Illinois also saw significant losses.

  • Where? Streets, lots and truck stops are targets favored by the cargo thieves. SC-ISAC stresses, “Location type is not as significant…If the driver leaves the rig and loaded trailer unattended and unsecured for any period of time, the opportunity for theft occurs.”

  • When? Cargo theft consistently spikes over weekends. In Q4 2014, when Friday and Monday are included, 70% of cargo crimes occurred over the weekend.

  • What? By category, the most popular product stolen was consumer electronics. Food, the normal favorite, was tied for second place with metals. But this time, SC-ISAC broke these categories out for deeper dive into specific commodities:
    • Automotive supplies get the top spot.
    • Steel made an unusually high showing in the second spot.
    • Other favorites were beverages, food, electronics, clothing and beauty aids.

    Construction materials were noticeably absent as a top item, in favor of more fence-able, readily available items during the holiday season. (At Electric Guard Dog, we say “The thieves have Christmas lists too, and your stuff is on it unless you are proactive.”

  • How Much? ISAC estimates Q4 incidents may have cost around $46 million dollars.

Implications for the Public

  • Cargo thefts are eventually added to the costs all consumers pay for goods.
  • Cargo thefts -- particularly of food and pharmaceuticals -- represent health risks to the general public as these products are reintroduced to the supply chain regardless of how they have been cared for.
  • Cargo theft affects public safety. Homeland Security has linked cargo theft to terrorism: the $46 million represents a good source of funds for more nefarious activities.

Hope that declining cargo theft statistics in 2013 were indicative of a new pattern is, unfortunately, now diminished. Meanwhile, our need to ensure the integrity of the supply chain has increased in the face of new threats.

So, what can we do?

In the Q1 report, SC-ISAC reminded members that thieves are resilient, focused on the supply chain, and adaptable. The organization continues to challenge members to be vigilant and proactive. The White House set an agenda back in 2013 for “all modes of transport (air, land, and sea) as well as critical intermodal hubs to provide ‘end-to-end’ coverage of the supply chain system” as well as “the need for the global supply chain system to be both more secure and able to recover quickly should an incident occur.”

We encourage all members of the supply chain to reassess security, and the security technologies available to you, for a best fit.

For More Information:

  • Visit DHS’ Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program to find out more about how to asses risks and be proactive.
  • For a primer on cargo theft and what you can do to combat it in your business, check out cargo theft expert J.J. Coughlin’s book, Cargo Crime.

Electric Guard Dog is proud to be a sponsor of the SC-ISAC database and active in regional cargo theft councils.

About the Author

Jack DeMao is the CEO and president of Electric Guard Dog.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    The Importance of Proactive Security Measures: 4 Stories of Regret

    We all want to believe that crime won’t happen to us. So, some business owners hope for the best and put proactive security measures on the back burner, because other things like growth, attracting new customers, and meeting deadlines all seem more pressing. Read Now

  • Global IT Outage Cause by Faulty Update from Cybersecurity Provider CrowdStrike

    Systems are starting to come back online after a global IT outage on Friday disrupted everything from airline operations to banks and 911 call centers. Read Now

  • Securing the Flow of Operations

    The transportation industry is a complex and dynamic environment where efficient management of physical keys, vehicles and shared devices is critical to ensuring smooth operations, reducing costs and maintaining security. Every day, more transportation facilities are using modern electronic key and asset management systems to better secure, audit and manage the important assets that keep operations running smoothly. Read Now

  • The Recipe for Stadium Security

    The threat landscape of stadium security is fluid. Today’s venues and stadiums have operational security 24/7, hosting sporting events, community events, concerts, conventions and more – each with a unique visitor base and each with unique security risks. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • Luma x20

    Luma x20

    Snap One has announced its popular Luma x20 family of surveillance products now offers even greater security and privacy for home and business owners across the globe by giving them full control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video. According to Snap One Product Manager Derek Webb, the new “customer handoff” feature provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing the owners to have total privacy while also making it easy to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required. This new feature is now available to all Luma x20 users globally. “The Luma x20 family of surveillance solutions provides excellent image and audio capture, and with the new customer handoff feature, it now offers absolute privacy for camera feeds and recordings,” Webb said. “With notifications and integrator access controlled through the powerful OvrC remote system management platform, it’s easy for integrators to give their clients full control of their footage and then to get temporary access from the client for any troubleshooting needs.” 3

  • A8V MIND

    A8V MIND

    Hexagon’s Geosystems presents a portable version of its Accur8vision detection system. A rugged all-in-one solution, the A8V MIND (Mobile Intrusion Detection) is designed to provide flexible protection of critical outdoor infrastructure and objects. Hexagon’s Accur8vision is a volumetric detection system that employs LiDAR technology to safeguard entire areas. Whenever it detects movement in a specified zone, it automatically differentiates a threat from a nonthreat, and immediately notifies security staff if necessary. Person detection is carried out within a radius of 80 meters from this device. Connected remotely via a portable computer device, it enables remote surveillance and does not depend on security staff patrolling the area. 3

  • Unified VMS

    AxxonSoft introduces version 2.0 of the Axxon One VMS. The new release features integrations with various physical security systems, making Axxon One a unified VMS. Other enhancements include new AI video analytics and intelligent search functions, hardened cybersecurity, usability and performance improvements, and expanded cloud capabilities 3