Trucking companies are facing significant challenges, including elevated diesel prices, supply constraints both for new vehicles and replacement parts, and labor shortages. Thieves across the country have been targeting expensive and hard-to-find semi-tractor CPC modules which can render a semi-truck undriveable and further stress an already fragile supply chain. CargoNet examined trends from the Thursday before Labor Day to the Wednesday after Labor Day from 2017 to 2021 to help the industry mitigate theft this upcoming holiday.
The most activity in this analysis occurred on the Friday before Labor Day or Tuesday after Labor Day. In 20 percent of events, the property was last known to be secure on Friday and 27 percent of theft complaints were reported on the Tuesday after Labor Day. We can infer that most victims parked on Friday to enjoy the holiday and returned to discover theft of their property on Tuesday.
Thefts were most common at large retail parking lots, truck stops, and warehouses. Targeted locations do vary by state though, as truck stops were a significant risk location in Texas and Florida, but not in California. Our analysis shows that the counties with the most theft activity were Los Angeles County, Dallas County, and San Bernardino County, jointly accounting for 18 percent of thefts included in this analysis. Shipments of electronics goods like computers and televisions, and household goods like furniture, appliances, and cleaning supplies, were stolen the most.
Extended holiday breaks create opportunities for enterprising thieves to plot sophisticated heists. Previous holidays show that thieves are willing to capitalize on the opportunity. Logistics brokers should be on alert for identity fraud and cargo theft schemes, as these tactics are an increasingly common way to acquire desirable truckload shipments such as copper rods, high-end electronics, appliances, and perishable food products. We implore organizations that are tendering shipments over the internet to verify details of all transactions prior to accepting a bid. Shippers should warn motor carriers of misdirection theft schemes and verify the intended delivery address with the driver prior to loading.
Organizations can step up security by arranging for same-day delivery of short-haul shipments, embedding covert tracking devices, and by using high-security locks to prevent trailer burglaries. Drivers should not leave their vehicles or shipments unattended, especially within 250 miles of pickup. Drivers should also be on the lookout for any vehicles that appear to be following them.
Noteworthy thefts from previous Labor Day holidays include:
• $434,379 in apparel stolen from Pomona, California
• $417,206 in computer electronics stolen from Ontario, Canada
• $400,000 in vodka stolen from Jacksonville, Florida
• $300,000 in computer electronics stolen from Los Angeles
• $291,093 in hardware store merchandise stolen from Conley, Georgia