Memorial Day Weekend Cargo Theft Trends and Security Tips

Cargo theft

CargoNet expects significant threat to freight transportation this upcoming Memorial Day weekend. In order to inform supply chain professionals of the threat, CargoNet reviewed theft data from 2016 to 2020 for the Thursday prior to Memorial Day to the Wednesday after. There were 143 events reported with an average of 29 events per year. Activity for latest Memorial Day Weekend 2020 increased 35 percent from previous year’s holiday period. The stolen cargo in each event was worth an average of $308,308, due in part to five thefts that exceeded $1 million in stolen goods.

Twenty percent of recorded thefts occurred on Friday and a significant amount of thefts also occurred on Sunday (16%) and Monday (15%). Food and beverage items were the most commonly stolen, and cargo thieves targeted a wide range of products in this category. The most common were alcoholic beverages, seafood products, and meat products. Electronics were not a significant target in previous years, but CargoNet’s Analysts are near certain that these goods will be targeted this upcoming holiday.

Extreme Risk of Theft

CargoNet has noted extreme risk in transporting computer electronics shipments through California. Theft of these shipments increased 443 percent between September 2020 and May 2021 from the same period a year ago. On average, each shipment of computer electronics was worth $856,993 per full truckload theft and $246,566 per partial truckload theft.

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Supply chain professionals can mitigate theft of these shipments by arranging for same-day delivery of short-haul shipments, embedding covert tracking devices in the shipment, and using high-security locks to prevent trailer burglaries. Drivers should adhere to the “red zone” rule and avoid stopping within 250 miles of pickup. Drivers should also be on the lookout for any vehicles that appear to be following them. Report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately and contact CargoNet at 888-595-2638 only after law enforcement has been notified and there are no immediate threats to life or property.

Noteworthy Thefts from Previous Memorial Day Weekends

  • $5,700,000 in jewelry from a warehouse in Walton, Kentucky
  • $3,974,370 in pharmaceuticals in Clermont, Florida
  • $2,920,000 in cell phone accessories in Memphis, Tennessee (recovered)
  • $1,500,000 in tablets from a warehouse in Wilmington, Delaware
  • $1,200,000 in seafood from the port in Elizabeth, New Jersey (recovered)

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