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Thanksgiving Cargo Theft Trends and Security Tips

Each holiday period, cargo thieves seek to exploit the abundance of loaded trailers and warehouses that will remain unattended for an extended period of time. In order to inform industry professionals of the highest theft risks, CargoNet reviewed trucking theft data from the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving to the Monday following Thanksgiving for 2015 to 2019.

CargoNet recorded 123 theft events in the days leading up to Thanksgiving or the days immediately after. There were 144 trucks, trailers, chassis, and containers stolen. Theft events were highest in California, Texas, and Georgia, but theft events were recorded in 24 states and provinces. Theft activity peaked on the day before Thanksgiving with 23 events, but activity was also high on the Friday and Saturday following with 21 events each.

Cargo thieves stole a variety of goods during this analysis period, but some of the most commonly targeted items included televisions, alcoholic beverages, and major appliances. We caution that thefts of electronics have been down in 2020, while thefts of household paper products like toilet paper, cleaning products like disinfectant spray, and PPE have increased.

Supply chain professionals can mitigate theft by parking unattended equipment and cargo in high-security yards with tall fences, surveillance video, and high-visibility lighting. Consider investing in high-security locks and seals to prevent costly trailer burglaries and tracking devices to monitor unattended equipment.

- Digital Partner -

Following are noteworthy thefts from previous Thanksgiving weeks:

  • $527,863 theft of coffee and peanuts from a warehouse in Union City, Georgia
  • $481,000 theft of liquor from a warehouse in Orlando, Florida
  • $414,255 theft of footwear from a secured yard in Kearny, New Jersey
  • $319,150 theft of candy from an unsecured yard in Douglasville, Georgia
  • $308,293 theft of televisions from an unsecured yard in Fontana, California

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