Cargo thieves have an opportunity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, third-quarters of thefts have increased each month year-over-year. This is according to data from CargoNet.
Cargo Thefts are on the Rise
Tracking embargo thefts, the Verisk Analytics-owned data firm found that totaled altogether, there were 319 report freight thefts in Q3 this year. In comparison to 259 in Q3 2019. There was a 26.92% increase year-over-year in September.
There was a similar theme in Q2 as well, according to CargoNet. In Q2, thefts increased by 371 in 2020. In April alone, there was a 91.43% year-over-year increase. This was comparing to 257 in 2019.
Freight Thieves Definitely Know What They Want
When interviewed, Scott Cornell, the 2vp Travelers Inland Marine, and Transportation segment leader told FreightWaves that embargo thieves focus intently.
“Shipment thieves are going to steal what they can sell,” he said. “In that sense, load thieves have tunnel vision.
Electronics Were at the Top of the List for Theft
Electronics were the number one item embargo thieves targeting for the year. But the 2008 Great Recession shifted that. Therefore, an economic toll the recession took on Americans shifted buying habits. As a result, the thieves responded.
Cargo Theives Went after Food and Beverages in Order of Importance
“Food and beverage became the number one stolen community by 2010,” Cornell said. People go back to the basics during an economic crisis. However, it’s a fact that people want to clothe and feed themselves.
“As we sit here today, food and beverage have held that Number 1 spot since then,” he added.
Comparing 2008 to 2020, Cornell said correlations can be drawn.
Thieves Want to Take Items That Have a Quick Turnaround to Make a Profit
It’s believed that cargo thieves are out and about taking the PPE and masks. Yes, there has been some of that. Yet the industry did a pretty good job to make sure those commodities were not stolen, though, Cornell adding. He said that load thieves definitely have an interest in goods that can be sold fast. Yet in good and prosperous times, electronics are high up there, but during times of economic hardship, food and beverage, which is consuming fast, there is no trace left.