The number of cargo theft incidents declined in the U.S. during the first quarter from the same time in 2014, but the average value of each heist jumped 25%, according to the logistics security services provider FreightWatch International.
While there was a 14% drop in total cases from a year earlier, the average loss value per incident was nearly $257,000.
“This is a continuation of the trend identified by the FWI in the third quarter of last year of a large rise in average loss value indicating that organized cargo thieves are targeting more lucrative shipments while many carriers continue to improve the security of their supply chain,” FreightWatch said in its report.
Food and drinks continued to be the most stolen product type in the first quarter with 31% of total cargo thefts during this time.
The electronics category was the second most stolen product type with 14% of the total, primarily consisting of the perennial favorites such as televisions and displays, as well as items in the software, components and peripherals categories. Home and garden finished third with 12% of the total.
New Jersey was the state with the most reported thefts in the first quarter of the year, despite typically being fifth through ninth in state rankings. It recorded 19% of the country’s total thefts, an increase of 386% and 84%, respectively, from the final quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of last year.
Despite registering a theft rate lower than both comparative quarters, Florida was the second most active state in the first quarter.
“This is a result of the recent and persistent drop in theft volumes within the state of California,” said FreightWatch. “Likely a result of several factors, not the least of which is the continued West Coast port slowdown, [causing] the volume of freight in the state to drop. Additionally, due to the long delays experienced at the ports, the freight that is unloaded at the docks is less likely to be at rest for a significant amount of time before it is shipped to its final destination.”
The most prevalent location for large-scale cargo thefts continues to be unsecured parking, identified in 91% of reported incidents. Of these thefts, 21% occurred at truck stops. Thefts from warehouse or distribution location types came in second with 5% of thefts, while secured parking areas accounted for 4% of thefts this quarter.