Beware of cargo theft
Texas “leads” all states by a wide margin in terms of having the highest rates of cargo theft, according to a recent study by LoJack Supply Chain Integrity. Results are based on information the company collected and analyzed from its members in 2008 via its Supply Chain-Information Sharing and Analysis Center (SC-ISAC). The SC-ISAC is the only source for information and analysis sanctioned by the government that helps the supply chain community and law enforcement protect against illegal and disruptive activities, such as theft, terrorism and natural disasters.
According to the data reported by SC-ISAC, a total of 353 such incidents occurred in 2008. Cargo theft was the most dominant activity with 299 cases.
“As this study reveals, cargo theft is a serious, ongoing problem that is very profitable for professional thieves and very costly for organizations throughout the supply chain,” said Robert Furtado, LoJack SCI’s chief executive officer.
The top 10 states with the highest cargo theft rates include: Texas (68 incidents), Georgia (53), Tennessee (18), California (16), Florida (16), Ohio (10), Arkansas (9), New Jersey (9), Alabama (8) and North Carolina (8).
Truck stops were the most common location for incidents of theft, followed by parking lots and drop yards, trucking facilities, “parked on street,” warehouses and retail store locations.
Not a surprise to law enforcement or most victims of theft is the fact that weekends (Saturday and Sunday) are when the greatest number of thefts occur.
The most popular stolen cargoes included food, pharmaceuticals and scrap metal. The unusually high percentage of building supplies thefts may be due in part to the rise in copper prices and the lack of oversight on the origins of scrap materials.
“According to our analysis of the data, food and drugs are essentials that are always a target of thieves, but especially so in a depressed economy,” said Furtado. That may explain why those items topped the list, while ‘nice-to-have’ items like music, movies and software came in at only 1 percent. The bottom line is that whether the economy is good or challenging, it is critical for a company to protect its cargo.”
LoJack SCI offered these tips for cargo protection:
• Understand the issue: Be aware of the latest crime methods used by organized criminals, specific areas that are targeted by criminals and products that are particularly vulnerable to theft.
• Establish/strengthen your security operations: Making certain your company has a strategic plan to safeguard its cargo is integral to helping protect your organization’s profitability.
• Use theft deterrents and recovery systems: Make certain your trucks have immobilization devices such as wheel locks, fuel shut-offs, air cuff locks, ignition locks and stolen vehicle recovery systems.