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The average value of cargo stolen during 2014 increased by 36%, to $232,924, with cargo thieves becoming more professional, says FreightWatch International (USA) Inc. in its 2014 report issued Tuesday.
“The threat of cargo theft continues to grow in the United States due to increased organization and innovation on the part of cargo thieves,” says the report by the Austin, Texas-based freight security firm.
“With the average stolen shipment valued at over $230,000, cargo crime represents a lucrative criminal enterprise compared with activities yielding similar returns (i.e. armed bank robbery) when adjusted for the realized cash values,” says the report.
The report says 90% of all thefts in 2014 occurred when the truck was stationary and unattended. In a related finding, it says also that last year 87% of all thefts with a known location occurred within unsecured parking.
In terms of cargo stolen, the average value of electronics stolen increased by 43% over the 2013 average value, to $568,664. Food and drink was the most frequently stolen type of cargo, accounting for 19% of the total, followed by electronics at 16%, and home and garden products at 14%, according to the report.
The average loss in cargo thefts increased more than one-third during this year’s first quarter vs. the comparable period a year ago, indicating criminals’ “persistence and increasing sophistication,” FreightWatch international (USA) Inc. said in its latest report.