Cargo theft numbers spike in Q1 2020

May 27, 2020

Land Line Staff


Cargo thefts were up by 49% in the first quarter of 2020 but down 9% in average loss value compared with the same time period from last year, according to the latest report from supply chain security company Sensitech.

In its latest quarterly report issued on Wednesday, May 27, the company recorded 217 cargo thefts from January to March of this year. The report notes that the number of incidents were split fairly evenly between the three months.

The average value of the cargo lost per incident was more than $105,000, an increase of 23 percent in value compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. The overall volume was down quarter to quarter by 11%.

The SensiGuard Supply Chain Intelligence Center publishes quarterly reports in addition to an annual report on cargo theft. The report notes that delays in incident reporting typically cause measurable increases in theft volumes in the weeks following the quarterly reports, and totals from the most recent quarter are expected to rise.

Miscellaneous items accounted for 29% of all reported cargo thefts – that includes mixed loads that hold a variety of cargo for mixed retail stores. The next highest was food and drinks, which made up 15% of thefts, followed by home and garden products at 11%, and electronics at 10%.

California is the most stolen-from state, according to the report, with 19% of total cargo thefts occurring there. Texas was next with 12% of total thefts, followed by Illinois, Florida and Georgia rounding out the top five.

The report also notes that theft of full truckloads remains the most common type of theft, accounting for 62% of all reported incidents. Pilferage was the second-most commonly reported theft type, accounting for 29% of incidents during the first three months of 2020. That number represents a 6% decline in the rate of reported pilferage incidents compared to the same time period in 2019.