Criminals are becoming more meticulous when it comes to identifying and selecting which cargo loads to pursue. There have been a bevy of hotspots springing up for cargo thefts in certain areas of the United States.
There were 951 cargo thefts in 2013, tying the record-high that was established in the prior year. Of those 951, approximately 60 percent occurred in just four states – California (259), Texas (123), Florida (113) and Georgia (71).
Cargo loads are targeted in these states because they have less-traveled roads and cargo goods are lucrative. In addition, these larger states also house many warehouses that contain sought-after products such as electronics, clothing, pharmaceutical drugs and food.
Criminals continue to increase their organization methods and innovation to target specific cargo loads, which makes it likely that the number of thefts will trend upward in the near future, according to research firm FreightWatch.
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This year, FreightWatch ranked the United States as high threat level for cargo thefts on the firm’s five-point risk scale. The scoring is based on a low to moderate, elevated, high and severe scale.
Throughout 2013, the biggest trends that FreightWatch identified among thefts included:
- Full truckload pharmaceutical thefts jumped by 50 percent.
- Illinois tripled its theft volume of pharmaceuticals.
- Driver thefts increased by 44 percent.
- Food and beverage thefts increased by roughly 35 percent.
- 92 percent of all recorded thefts of nut goods occurred in California.
- New Jersey experienced a 158 percent surge in food and beverage thefts.
- Southwest Dallas emerged as a new hijacking hotspot.
- Despite an overall reduction in cargo theft, the pharmaceutical theft rate soared above the national average in Pennsylvania.
- Cargo thefts targeting the electronics sector rose by nearly 36 percent in California.