Supply chain professionals are looking forward to a much-deserved extended weekend during the Fourth of July holiday. However, CargoNet®, a Verisk business, reports that extended business closures historically create an advantageous operating environment for cargo thieves. For the past five years, the firm has analyzed cargo theft data in the United States and Canada from July 1 to July 7 and found 130 cargo theft events in 27 different states, with theft most common in Texas, California, and Florida.
This year’s study found that a quarter of theft events occurred on the Friday of the holiday weekend, contrary to 2018 when most theft events were reported to have taken place on Thursday, July 4. Cargo thieves targeted shipments of food and beverage products, household goods, and mixed shipments of less than truckload (LTL) freight and general merchandise. The study estimates $5.9 million in cargo was stolen with an average value of $128,416 per theft.
To help prevent theft, supply chain professionals should avoid leaving cargo unattended in high-theft areas such as Los Angeles, Dallas–Fort Worth, Chicago, Atlanta, NYC metro, and Miami. Should truckers need to leave their cargo unattended, they should consider parking in high-security locations with active security services, secure fences, and high-visibility lighting.
Additionally, CargoNet’s data shows that over the past five years, several sophisticated warehouse burglaries of desirable items like computers, cell phones, and fragrances occurred in Miami metro, Las Vegas metro, and northern New Jersey over the Fourth of July holiday. Operators should consider making sure facilities are alarmed and to treat every alarm activation as an actual break-in, as some burglary crews may purposely trip the alarm multiple times to make authorities and facility operators think the system is malfunctioning.
Noteworthy thefts from previous July 4th holidays:
• $2,000,000 of perfume from Hillsborough Township, New Jersey
• $444,000 of copper cables from Long Beach, California
• $328,321 of toys from Trevor, Wisconsin
• $270,000 of jeans from Blacksburg, South Carolina
• $259,878 of hard drives and server chassis from Norcross, Georgia