One day after the new year, cargo thieves ravaged Memphis with a slew of thefts, including an armed robbery of a FedEx delivery truck. Tragically, experts are anticipating this kickoff is on par for 2024.
“[Cargo theft] continues to trend upward, and there are no signs whatsoever that it’s going to slow down anytime soon,” reports crime and theft specialist Scott Cornell. “I think awareness for drivers understanding what’s going on with cargo theft trends is one of the biggest things.”
To better protect themselves from cargo theft, truckers must understand why theft has seen such a drastic spike.
Why is Cargo Theft on the Rise?
Cargo theft year-over-year in the third quarter of 2023. Of those thefts, most affected fleets with ten trucks or less.
Though pilferage, the partial robbery of a load, remains the highest source of cargo theft, the spike is not primarily attributable to the fact that there are more trucks on the road.
The rise is caused by increased organized crime rings outside of the country.
“So now we’re seeing an increase in part due to the ease of use, the ease of the ability to do it virtually,” said Cornel. “Instead of targeting one truck that’s sitting in one place, I can target 12 loads from one company and redirect and steal all 12 of those loads in one theft, just like that.”
In short, these virtual crime rings can steal more, faster, and from anywhere in the world by elaborate redirecting schemes. Over-haul.com finds that the success of these schemes is made possible by hacking and manipulating the data of smaller fleets, reporting that the exploitation of truck brokerage securities has increased by almost 400%.
The sum of all these factors is that 2024 will look like 2023 regarding cargo theft.
What, then, can carriers do to protect their freight in 2024?
Preventing Cargo Theft in 2024
All the typical freight theft prevention practices are still critical, including caution in sharing personal information, parking in well-lit and safe areas, and frequently inspecting your rig for signs of tampering. For a guide on the basics, click here.
Because freight theft in 2024 will more often take a digital medium, there are a few special precautions that carriers should take.
- Ensure that your data is protected by multi-factor authentication. This protects your passwords by requiring that a sign-in on another platform be granted before logging in.
- Always perform due diligence when contracting with a broker. Confirm that their email address, DOT number, phone number, and other information match what the FMCSA has listed on their website.
- Consider investing in anti-theft technology, including GPS tracking and electronic locking systems. Real-time monitoring can quickly pay for itself by stopping load redirection.
Cargo theft is on the rise in 2024. As criminals innovate their means of theft to more sophisticated cybersecurity schemes, carriers must maintain strict vigilance in protecting their data.
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