CargoNet warns of rise in food theft

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – CargoNet is warning of a potential rise in the theft of food items during this Labor Day weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The effects of Covid-19 have brought new challenges to the supply chain, and it is more important than ever to guard shipments against theft,” the freight tracking and recovery company said Tuesday.

Previous Labor Day weekend thefts recorded by CargoNet. (Source: CargoNet)

Each holiday, the company warns supply chain professionals that cargo thieves will seek to exploit the increase in unattended shipments and closed warehouses.

CargoNet said it analyzed theft trends from the Thursday before Labor Day to the Wednesday after Labor Day from 2014 to 2019.

“CargoNet recorded 161 theft events across the United States and Canada in this analysis period. There were 202 trucks, trailers, chassis and containers stolen.”

It said theft activity most commonly occurred on the Friday before Labor Day.

“Labor Day 2014 had the most activity in this analysis period, with 34 thefts. Labor Day 2019 also reported above-average levels of activity, with 31 thefts,” the company said.

“This year, CargoNet’s analysts expect targeting of food and beverage commodities as well as medical supplies.”

– CargoNet

Theft events were highest in California, Texas, and New Jersey; but also occurred in 28 states and Canadian provinces.

Electronics gadgets were the most commonly stolen, but cargo thieves follow market demands, it said.

“This year, CargoNet’s analysts expect targeting of food and beverage commodities such as meat products and beer, as well as medical supplies in particular gloves and masks,” the company warned.

Drivers can harden against theft by parking only in secured facilities with theft deterrents such as high-visibility lighting, secured fences, surveillance video, or staffed guard services, it said.

“Secure your trailers with high-security locks and seals to prevent trailer burglaries,” the company advised.

Noteworthy thefts from previous Labor Day weekends:

  • $5,700,000 in cellphones from a warehouse in New Castle, Del.
  • $1,500,000 in airsoft equipment from a warehouse in Irwindale, Calif. (recovered)
  • $1,000,000 in silver from a port in Montreal, Que.
  • $800,000 in cellphones from a truck stop in Jackson, Tenn.
  •  $560,000 in laptops from a secured yard in Ontario, Calif. (recovered).

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