Cargo thieves are seizing on the Covid-19 pandemic and disrupted supply chains to ramp up their efforts, according to 2020 data from CargoNet.
CargoNet reported 1,676 supply chain risk events in the U.S. and Canada in 2020, a 16% increase over 2019. Of those, 48% involved the theft of at least one heavy commercial vehicle, such as a semi-tractor, trailer, or intermodal container.
Sixty-one per cent involved the theft of cargo or attempted theft of cargo, with the average theft valued at US$166,334, a $27,045 increase from the year before. CargoNet attributed this to thefts targeting higher-value loads such as pharmaceuticals and medical supplies related to the Covid pandemic.
Texas saw theft event surge 93% year-over-year.
Truck stops and retailer parking lots were the most common places for thefts to occur.
Household commodities were the most common stolen freight of 2020, with major appliances, household paper goods, cleaning supplies and furniture targeted.
Food and beverage commodities were the second most targeted category. Theft of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies increased, with thieves targeting loads of personal protective equipment and over-the-counter medications. One theft involved a truckload of ventilators.