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Mexico, Brazil and South Africa are most at risk for cargo theft, FreightWatch International (USA) Inc. said Monday in a report.
Total cargo thefts in Mexico increased 13% in 2011, with more than 10,000 hijackings occurring on roads and highways reaching an estimated value of losses of $9 billion, according to the Austin, Texas-based logistics security agency.
Twenty-one percent of all theft incidents targeted the food and drink industry. The overall average loss value per theft incident increased 23%, to $189,510 from $154,000, during the 2010-2011 reporting period.
Brazilian authorities recorded 6,958 cargo theft incidents in the country for 2011, with 52% of the theft activity concentrated in São Paolo state, according to the report.
Overall incidents decreased 4.6% to 7,294 thefts in 2011 from 7,294 in 2010, but the cost of cargo losses increased 5.7% to $171.6 million from $163 million the previous year.
While the food and drink industry was most commonly targeted for thefts at 30%, the electronics industry experienced the greatest losses—at $49.4 million—in 2011, according to the report.
While cargo crime data remained extremely difficult to obtain in Africa, authorities in South Africa reported that 999 trucks were hijacked in the country between April 2010 and April 2011, FreightWatch said.
“The constant involvement of violence and the crude theft methods common in Africa stand in stark contrast to cargo theft operations seen in other parts of the globe, particularly Europe and the United States, where violence is rare and thieves are constantly inventing new ways to carry out their crimes,” FreightWatch said in the report.
Other countries most at risk for cargo theft include the United States, Russia, India, and the United Kingdom, FreightWatch said.
California led the nation in cargo thefts last year, with 247 of 747 thefts in the U.S. that were estimated at $171 million, according to a report released last week by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.