Now that the labor slowdown at U.S.
West Coast ports is resolved, the opportunity for cargo theft increases,
says FreightWatch International.
“As the massive backlog of cargo begins to release
into the supply chain, the frenetic situation will be rife with opportunity
for cargo criminals,” FreightWatch wrote in a warning released recently.
FreightWatch’s focus is on major cargo thefts
in the United States that occur within 200 miles of the now open and running
Port of Los Angeles, Port of Seattle, and Port of San Francisco.
With major backlogs after months of work slowdowns and
to relieve the crush, transportation is adding people who may not be familiar
with the tactics of the underworld.
“This target-rich environment coupled with the
tumultuous situation creates the perfect storm for organized cargo criminals
proficient in [a] myriad of identity theft techniques,” FreightWatch
FreightWatch International (FWI) is also out with their
Annual Cargo Theft Report for 2014, stating that the risk of cargo theft
will increase in 2015 versus 2014.
“Although the total number of verified incidents
decreased by 12 percent, the threat of cargo theft continues to grow in
the U.S. due to increased organization and innovation on the part of cargo
thieves,” FWI said.
“This evolution is illustrated by the 36 percent
rise in average value [of cargo thefts] which suggests organized thieves
offset the lack of access to a high quantity of shipments by targeting
higher value merchandise.”
FWI recorded 794 cargo thefts throughout the U.S. in
2014, with the average value per theft reaching $232,924—a 36 percent
increase in value over 2013—which translates into an average of
66 cargo thefts per month, or 2.2 per day.
FWI noted that the U.S. “still enjoys” a
relatively low level of cargo theft-related aggression and criminal sophistication
compared to similar countries in Europe.