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How theft from the trucks and containers are increasing since pandemic?

Updated: Jan 11

According to 2020 data from CargoNet, a New Jersey based theft recovery company, cargo thieves are increasing their focus on the Covid-19 outbreak and the supply chain networks interrupted all across the globe.

Here’s more on how theft from trucks and containers sky-rocketed in the pandemic and what can be done to prevent that.

Impact of COVID on the truck cargo logistics in Canada

Cargo theft is already on the increase in North America this year too after slowly rising up from 2020, with the Covid-19 outbreak causing a huge surge in cargo robbery since April of last year. According to CargoNet, which provided an assessment at its Cargo Theft and Transportation Summit, crime-related cargo losses increased by 107 percent in April 2020 comparing to April 2019. This year already, 1,080 robberies have been recorded in the United States and Canada alone.

How frequently does it happen?

Weekends keep showing a greater incidence of theft, according to Shannon Elliott, a forensic security analyst with CargoNet, since more goods are left unsupervised. The majority of weekend thefts aren't recorded for a few days, allowing criminals time to relocate the stolen property and hide all their activities using decoys, fake pickups etc. Cargo theft was the most often reported crime, with 613 complaints submitted thus far this year. Theft of trailers increased by 49% in 2019 while tractor theft increased by 18%. Shippers should have GPS placed not just on their power and engine units, but also inside the freight. Food and drinking goods are among the items attacked this year, as is usual, along with home goods on the increase too. This specific spike was caused by a scarcity of basic goods like toilet tissues and paper wipes earlier during 2020. In the year 2020, the estimated loss of a heist is around $230,000, up from $151,000 on average in 2019. This is mostly due to the increased targeting of expensive medicines and other healthcare products.

Why did COVID impact logistics security?

The surge in action is being driven by three main problems that have surfaced in reaction to the COVID-19 emergency around the globe, specially in Canada and the U.S. Take a look:

  • Nonviolent criminals are being let out of prisons.

Numerous non-violent criminals — such as freight thieves — are being freed into an atmosphere where employment is limited and many commodities (food, drinks, home necessities, emergency aid) are in fierce competition in an attempt to limit the growth of COVID-19 in the commercial and state prisons.

  • The scope of government agencies like police are being limited.

Because many correctional facilities are freeing non-violent criminals, law enforcement officers in certain densely populated areas have been ordered to concentrate their energies on serious offenses. Moreover, there is much less regular implementation of motor carrier regulations on roads.

  • Routine commercial activities are being thrown into disarray.

Numerous businesses have had to cut jobs, enabling skeleton teams to manage operational levels, and so many of the workers who are still operating (and have the capacity to do just that) are working from home on computers rather than in the workplace. Thieves will have more chances to swindle shippers, transporters, and 3PLs as a result of this all.

How Shippers & Carriers Can Protect Against Theft?

One of the best and most effective strategies against cargo theft is the use of high security bolts seals for containers. These bolts act as security locking devices that can help keep all the goods safe by interlocking trucks with the supply containers in an effortless manner.

Data Source: BSI & TT Club Cargo, Theft Report 2020.

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