Pilferage, full truckload remain most common types of cargo thefts

November 20, 2020

Land Line Staff


Reported cargo thefts were down by 18% in the third quarter of 2020 but up 7% in volume 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 Thursday, Nov. 19, the company recorded 194 cargo thefts from July to September 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 $152,000, a decrease of 28% in value compared to the second quarter of 2020.

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.

For the first time since the second quarter of 2017, home and garden loads were the most stolen product type, accounting for 26% of all reported cargo thefts. Thefts in category were led by appliances (31%) and cleaning products and supplies (14%).

Miscellaneous loads (16%) were the second-most common types to be stolen. Electronics were the third-most stolen product type, accounting for 13% of all loads stolen. Within that category, more than half of all thefts were televisions and displays or computer components.

For the second straight quarter, Texas topped California as the most stolen-from state, according to the report, with 20% of total cargo thefts occurring there. California was next with 14% of total thefts, followed by, Florida, Georgia and Illinois rounding out the top five.

The report also notes that, for the first time since the final quarter of 2019, pilferage was the most common type of theft. Pilferage reports accounted for nearly half of all reported theft incidents, at 47%. Theft of full truckload accounted for 45% of reported incidents.

The report notes that as volumes of pilferage increase, the average loss value has dropped to just under $59,000. Pilferage was recorded disproportionately among certain product types, including alcohol, electronics and tobacco. Sensitech’s report forecasts that pilferage will continue to grow in both volume and value as long as the supply chain is in disruption.

Read more cargo theft news here. LL