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

    7 Ways You Can Secure a High-Traffic Commercial Security Gate  

    Your commercial security gate is one of your most powerful tools to keep thieves off your property. Without a security gate, your commercial perimeter security plan is all for nothing. Read Now

  • Busy South Africa Building Integrates Custom Access Control System

    Nicol Corner, based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, South Africa, is home to a six-star fitness club, prime office space, and an award-winning rooftop restaurant. This is the first building in South Africa to have its glass façade fully incorporate fritted glazing, saving 35% on energy consumption. Nicol Corner (Pty) LTD has developed a landmark with sophisticated design and unique architecture by collaborating with industry-leading partners and specifying world-class equipment throughout the project. This includes installing a high-spec, bespoke security and access control system. Read Now

  • Only 13 Percent of Research Institutions Are Prepared for AI

    A new survey commissioned by SHI International and Dell Technologies underscores the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) while exposing significant gaps in preparedness at many research institutions. Read Now

  • Survey: 70 Percent of Organizations Have Established Dedicated SaaS Security Teams

    Seventy percent of organizations have prioritized investment in SaaS security, establishing dedicated SaaS security teams, despite economic uncertainty and workforce reductions. This was a key finding in the fourth Annual SaaS Security Survey Report: 2025 CISO Plans and Priorities released today by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to defining standards, certifications, and best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • FEP GameChanger

    FEP GameChanger

    Paige Datacom Solutions Introduces Important and Innovative Cabling Products GameChanger Cable, a proven and patented solution that significantly exceeds the reach of traditional category cable will now have a FEP/FEP construction. 3

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3

  • ResponderLink

    ResponderLink

    Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), an Alarm.com company and a global leader in gunshot detection solutions, has introduced ResponderLink, a groundbreaking new 911 notification service for gunshot events. ResponderLink completes the circle from detection to 911 notification to first responder awareness, giving law enforcement enhanced situational intelligence they urgently need to save lives. Integrating SDS’s proven gunshot detection system with Noonlight’s SendPolice platform, ResponderLink is the first solution to automatically deliver real-time gunshot detection data to 911 call centers and first responders. When shots are detected, the 911 dispatching center, also known as the Public Safety Answering Point or PSAP, is contacted based on the gunfire location, enabling faster initiation of life-saving emergency protocols. 3