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Cargo Theft Down 9% in Q3

Oct. 31, 2016
CargoNet recorded $23.7 million in cargo stolen in third-quarter 2016, down $8.2 million from third-quarter 2015.

Reported cargo theft incidents in the United States and Canada dropped 9% in third-quarter 2016 compared with third-quarter 2015, as reported by CargoNet on Oct. 27.

The CargoNet Command Center received reports of 447 incidents, a 2% increase from third-quarter 2015.  The incidents are as follows:

- 309 incidents involved theft of a motor vehicle

- 201 incidents involved theft of cargo

- 35 incidents involved fraud.

In total, CargoNet recorded $23.7 million in cargo stolen in third-quarter 2016, down $8.2 million from third-quarter 2015.

The average cargo theft was worth $118,000 in third-quarter 2016, compared with $144,000 in third-quarter 2015. In third-quarter 2016, there were six incidents valued at $1 million or more, with an average value of $1.58 million. This is one more incident than third-quarter 2015; but in third-quarter 2015, the average loss for incidents greater than $1 million was $3.34 million due to two extremely high-value thefts of $7 million and $5.7 million. This also explains the loss value difference between third-quarter 2015 and third-quarter 2016.

Cargo theft in most states decreased, but CargoNet recorded a 40% increase year over year in reported cargo thefts in California. Contrary to recent reports that theft in Los Angeles has increased, our data shows that cargo theft in Los Angeles County has decreased 13% year over year, but theft in San Bernardino County has increased 229% year over year. Most theft in San Bernardino is occurring in Ontario and Fontana.

Texas was the next highest state but trailed California’s 59 thefts by 31.

Looking at specific items, electronics were the costliest commodity loss but dropped from $14.5 million in third-quarter 2015 to $7.8 million in third-quarter 2016.

Theft of household items was the second costliest loss, at $4.6 million. Household items also increased 138% year over year.

Food and beverage commodities remained the most stolen commodity but decreased 22% year over year.

In third-quarter 2016, 202 tractors and 192 trailers were stolen. Thefts of intermodal chassis and containers decreased from third-quarter 2015, but thefts of tractors and trailers increased 31% and 24%, respectively.

Warehouse locations remained the most common location for cargo theft, but theft at secured yards increased 100% year over year and was the second most common location. CargoNet examined this data more closely and found secured yard thefts increased the most in California: specifically, five cargo thefts from secured yards in the city of Ontario. Secured yard thefts also increased in Texas, Florida, and Illinois. Unsecured yards came in third and increased 134% year over year.

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