Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Supply Chain Security Report Indicates High Value Cargo Crime Levels Down

Criminals However Get Ever More Sophisticated When Targeting Freight
Shipping News Feature

US – Supply chain security provider FreightWatch, has released its annual US Cargo Theft Report and it gives outsiders a useful snapshot into the levels of reported, high value freight crime throughout the country. The statistics recorded a 12% decrease in verified reported cargo thefts throughout the United States in 2014, down to 794 from the 951 reported in 2013. FreightWatch has warned haulage operators not to rest on their laurels as the risk outlook for the year ahead remains high as cargo criminals continue to evolve in response to the efforts of industry and Law Enforcement in the US.

The major trend identified for 2014 was that criminals were becoming even more sophisticated as evidenced by their improved shipment targeting. This evolution is illustrated by a 36% rise in the average value of the stolen cargo as compared to 2013, which suggests organised thieves offset the lack of access to a high quantity of shipments by targeting higher value merchandise, with attacks on electronics driving this trend. The average value of the stolen cargoes is now estimated to be $232,924.

Opportunistic criminals were found to be more prevalent in the US market as compared to other international markets, however, the continued transition towards a more professional, targeted activity is noteworthy as FreightWatch observed a global trend that this activity is a forerunner to organised criminals embedding themselves and their organisations deeper into cargo theft activities. This resilient commitment is commonly a precursor to an escalation in risk over time in both severity and frequency of attacks, and depending on conditions, can increase the likelihood of violence. Improved targeting yields higher rewards, and calculated cargo criminals have historically become more aggressive and accepted more risk in order to reach their target.

For the fifth consecutive year, food and drink was the product type most often stolen in 2014, accounting for 19% of all cargo theft, down from the 27% reported the previous period. Electronics remained in second place for the second consecutive year, logging 16% of thefts, whilst home/garden products remained third with 14% having been tied last year with metals which now lies in sixth.

With an average of 66 serious cargo thefts per month, the United States sustained cargo thefts at a rate of 2.2 per day in 2014. Overall, the United States is ranked as a high threat level for cargo thefts largely due to the level of reported thefts being below the actual industry experience, a trend comparable to other countries with marginal cargo theft visibility. FreightWatch expects the rise in cargo theft to continue until all elements of supply chain security, both public and private, share information collectively and transparently in order to effectively combat the criminal element and secure the global supply chain.