Supply chain crime activity has been at a level similar to the first-quarter 2020, despite changes to targeted commodities and tactics used by cargo thieves, CargoNet reported Monday.
Overall, reports of industry-related fraud schemes increased while outright theft of trucking vehicles or cargo decreased slightly.
CargoNet recorded 289 thefts or attempted thefts in the supply chain in the first-quarter of 2021. This is a decrease from first-quarter 2020 that was mostly felt in fewer theft schemes targeting truckload copper shippers in Illinois, trailer burglaries in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, and fewer full-truckload thefts in Pennsylvania. In total, each cargo theft event in first-quarter 2021 was worth an average of $142,574.
Theft activity in first-quarter 2021 was highest in Texas, California, and Florida and all three states reported significant increases in theft. Theft activity in Florida fell in February, but spiked significantly in March. This paved the way for a 26% increase when compared to first-quarter 2020 in theft activity in the state.
For California and Texas, CargoNet’s analysts have worked to prevent victimization by releasing several warnings about commodities and locations of concern to CargoNet members.
Crime patterns are being monitored in both states – specifically frequent attacks on truckload computer electronics shippers in northern and southern California. Pilferage and full-truckload theft of computer electronics shipments in California have increased 88% year-over-year and thefts are expected to continue until supply can meet market demands.