Home Business Cargo theft increased 57% in 2023 vs. 2022, new CargoNet data shows

Cargo theft increased 57% in 2023 vs. 2022, new CargoNet data shows

by SuperiorInvest

Cargo theft incidents increased more than 57% in 2023 compared to the previous year, according to CargoNet, a Verisk company.

“I think we’re at an all-time high. I haven’t seen cargo theft at this level,” Scott Cornell, national transportation leader for Travelers, told CNBC.

Nearly $130 million worth of goods were stolen in 2023, but since reporting cargo theft is not mandatory, the amount is likely higher, according to CargoNet.

“In 2014, we received approximately 100 [reports] a month,” Keith Lewis, CargoNet’s vice president of operations, told CNBC. “Now, we’re probably getting about 220 plus a month of cargo theft events.”

CargoNet analysis of Q4 2023 data showed a 68% year-over-year increase compared to 2022.

“In the first 20 weeks of 2023, we saw a 41% increase compared to the previous 20 weeks. It’s definitely accelerating,” Uber Freight CEO Lior Ron told CNBC.

Cargo theft refers to the theft of goods at any point in the transportation journey and incidents have reached unprecedented levels.

“More criminals are abandoning traditional crime, [and] “The reason they’re attracted to cargo theft is that it’s very, very low risk and very, very high reward,” said Barry Conlon, founder and CEO of Overhaul, a freight integrity solutions company. Supply Chain.

CargoNet ranks California, Texas and Florida as the top three hotspots in 2023, but the risk is not limited to the coasts. More incidents are being reported at inland fulfillment centers, including Louisville, Kentucky.

smart technology

Companies are investing in preventative measures and new technologies, including digital locking systems, as well as telematics and real-time tracking.

“It’s a decade in the making,” Ron said of the investment and development of Uber Freight’s product-level tracking.

“You have to make sure you have visibility of all assets between GPS connectivity, bias-level connectivity and paddle-level connectivity,” Ron said.

CNBC went to Louisville, Kentucky, to take a closer look at Overhaul’s new smart door seal and how it works to prevent cargo theft at a fulfillment facility operated by Arvato, a supply chain company.

Barry Conlon, CEO and founder of Overhaul, talks about the company’s smart door seal as the employee pairs it with a Bluetooth device.

“The Bluetooth seal can communicate with a device hidden inside the load where it is never found,” Conlon told CNBC during a demonstration on a truck at the Overhaul warehouse.

Trucks are typically locked with bolt seals, and common integrated devices rely on light to detect when the doors are opened.

The problem is that thieves can easily bypass seals and light detection is less effective if criminals attack at night.

A worker demonstrates Overhaul’s smart door seal that helps prevent cargo theft with GPS and Bluetooth technology.

“We needed a foolproof, guaranteed way to know when someone is opening the door,” Conlon said.

Smart seals work within Overhaul’s risk monitoring system, so if the seal is broken, an alert is instantly sent to the company’s command centers, where shipments are monitored and data analyzed.

A worker places Overhaul’s smart door seal on the back of a cargo truck. Using GPS and Bluetooth technologies, the seal connects to a device hidden inside the truck and will send Overhaul an alert if the cable is cut.

“Our job is to look at these different data streams [and] add other data that might be relevant,” Conlon said. “So, [we] make determinations about what is really happening with that load [and if] “We have to intervene.”

Imperfect solutions

Even with new technologies and preventative measures, more solutions are needed.

“There is a lot of push [and] solve this problem,” Lewis said. “People on my side of the table say, ‘I can find the best solutions’… but then I hear from the industry: ‘Well, how can we bring that drive back to the [company]?’…Now, we have to reverse the logistics.”

The industry does not want to paralyze deliveries as it has to keep up with consumer demand and expectations.

“People on the other side of the table were saying, ‘You don’t understand, we have to get this charge moving,'” Lewis said.

Look at video above to learn more about why more thieves are targeting trucks, what cargo theft looks like, and how companies are fighting back.

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