Let’s look at some scary cargo theft statistics, data and trends to find out the true state of cargo theft and its impact on business.

Cargo Theft Statistics & Data: Key Findings

  • The average value of cargo stolen in a single event was $214,104.
  • Each month, an average of 63 cargo thefts occur. 
  • Cargo theft is estimated to cost the U.S. $15-30 billion a year. 
  • 26% of cargo theft occurred at cargo facilities.

Sources: (CNBC, Gomotive, Property Casualty360, Freightwaves, FBI, ttclub)

Cargo Theft Statistics 2022

  • In 2022, $223 million in cargo was stolen in the United States and Canada. 
  • Cargo thefts spike 15% across US, Canada in 2022
  • California led the way in 2022, with 417 reported cargo thefts, a 41% increase year over year. Florida had 153, while Texas had 223.
  • Cargo theft increases 57% in q2 2023 versus same period last year.
  • 1,188 cargo thefts documented to date in 2023.
  • about 200 cargo theft incidents have been reported each month so far in 2023.
  • Cargo theft and fraud rose 41% in the first 20 weeks of 2023 over last year.

Average Single-Event Cargo Theft Value Hits $214,104.

According to recent reports, the average value of cargo stolen in a single theft event was $214,104 in 2022, representing a 20% increase compared to 2021. This high average value reflects organized crime rings increasingly targeting more valuable cargo like electronics, automotive parts, and pharmaceuticals. Overall, an estimated $223 million worth of cargo was stolen across the US and Canada last year. 

The average theft value has been rising steadily, more than doubling from $106,000 in Q1 2020 to $232,000 in Q1 2022. Key factors driving the increase include high-value targeted goods, inflation raising cargo values, and sophisticated theft tactics by organized rings focused on exploiting cybersecurity and identity vulnerabilities across supply chains. Implementing security measures like tracking, driver oversight, and law enforcement collaboration remains critical to mitigating cargo theft risks

Monthly Cargo Thefts Skyrocket to 63 on Average.

Cargo theft remains a persistent threat, with industry reports indicating approximately 63 theft incidents occur on average per month in the United States. This monthly average has held relatively steady over recent years, though monthly totals fluctuate and spike around busy shipping periods. Key cargo theft hotspots include states like California, Texas, and Florida that see high volumes of freight movement. While the monthly incident rate is one data point, the total annual loss value of stolen cargo paints a more severe picture, with recent estimates placing this at $30 billion and rising annually across the US. 

Ongoing theft prevention collaboration between shippers, carriers, law enforcement, and security specialists remains essential to mitigate cargo theft risks that can severely impact supply chain operations and finances.

$223M Cargo Theft in 2022: A Sharp 15% Yearly Increase.

Cargo Theft Soars in Single Event Heists

According to industry reports, an estimated $223 million worth of cargo was stolen across the United States and Canada in 2022, representing a 15% increase compared to the previous year. The average value per theft incident also rose significantly to $214,104, up 20% year-over-year. Key factors driving the growth in cargo theft value include high-value targeted goods like electronics and pharmaceuticals, inflation raising cargo values, and sophisticated theft tactics by organized crime rings. 

California and Texas saw the highest total theft values, while emerging hotspots included Georgia and Arizona. Continued law enforcement and industry collaboration to improve security practices remains essential to mitigating cargo theft risks and financial impacts. Implementing tracking, screening procedures, driver training and communication protocols can help secure supply chains.

California Sees Record 417 Cargo Thefts in 2022, Up 41%.

The drastic surge in reported cargo thefts in 2022, notably in California with an alarming 41% increase year-over-year to 417 incidents, highlights an escalating state-specific crisis. This stark rise signals a growing hotbed of criminal activity, exploiting weaknesses within the state’s logistics networks. 

Meanwhile, Florida and Texas, reporting 153 and 223 thefts respectively, add further weight to the national urgency of this security challenge. Such regional disparities warrant targeted, state-specific interventions, tailored to the unique vulnerabilities of each state’s supply chains. Government and industry must cooperate on strategic security enhancement, integrating cutting-edge technology and improved legislative measures at a state level. 

California’s dramatic rise in cargo theft is a glaring alarm bell, indicating that unless urgent, stringent actions are taken, we risk normalizing such nefarious activities within our logistics networks. It is imperative that we rise to this challenge and restore the integrity of our national supply chains.

Cargo Theft Drains U.S Economy: Estimated Annual Loss of $15-30B.

What is the annual theft of cargo estimated to be in the US?

Cargo theft continues to pose a major threat, with recent estimates placing the total annual loss value from stolen cargo across the United States at $15-30 billion. This staggering figure highlights the severe impacts of cargo crime on supply chain operations and finances. Organized crime rings’ sophisticated theft methods, the targeting of high-value electronics and drugs, and the growing use of cybersecurity and identity vulnerabilities across supply chains are some of the main reasons for the high loss values. 

Continued collaboration between law enforcement, insurers, and industry partners to improve cargo security practices and implement measures like tracking, screening, and driver training is essential to mitigating risks. Cargo theft prevention must remain a priority to secure supply chains and prevent crippling financial losses for companies.

Cargo Facilities Hotbeds for Theft, Account for 26% of Cases.

Cargo facilities remain prime targets for theft, with industry reports showing 26% of cargo theft incidents occurred at facilities like warehouses, distribution centers, and storage yards in 2022. This highlights the need for enhanced security at these cargo hubs that see high volumes of valuable freight. The rise in facility theft also reflects a shift from past years dominated by truck hijackings to more pilferage and theft from unattended trailers as supply chain congestion eased in 2022. 

Key mitigation measures include secure perimeter fencing, surveillance systems, restricted access, and screening procedures to better secure facilities. Employee training and oversight are also critical to preventing insider risks. Implementing robust security protocols at cargo facilities is key to preventing the exploitation of these theft hotspots.

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