Reported incidents of cargo theft decreased for the third consecutive year in 2016, but according to CargoNet data, the overall value of goods stolen increased 13.3% to $114 million.
The United States saw approximately 1,614 incidents of shipping theft in 2016. These include instances of cargo theft, commercial vehicle theft, and supply chain fraud. There are an estimated 17 million shipping containers around the world, but only 6 million of them are in use. Each and every one of those 6 million containers is susceptible to theft while in transit.
Many are concerned about the rising value of stolen goods. The total value of stolen cargo in 2016 is $114 million, which is much higher than the 2015 total of $100.5 million. Despite the negative outlook for businesses, Anthony Canale of CargoNet has a positive view of the future.
“The numbers indicate that the police believe in the system and are reporting incidents while also cracking down on cargo theft,” he said.
He added that the fluctuations in reports are a result of better awareness of companies like CargoNet, which report such instances.
However, Canale’s positive outlook doesn’t have everyone convinced that cargo theft will continue to decrease. The Mississippi legislature put forth two bills at the end of January specifically aimed at preventing cargo theft.
The two bills would create an offense tailored specifically to cargo theft, a national problem that is costing many people a lot of money and strife. Stolen goods and medical supplies can create serious issues, especially in rural areas where these items are needed and aren’t easy to come by.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau is particularly in favor of these bills and has released a public service announcement that is playing on radios across the state. The announcement states several reasons for the Mississippi legislature to pass the proposed bills.
The top three states experiencing cargo theft include California with 228 incidents, Texas with 135, and New Jersey with 73. If these states are experiencing cargo theft in such massive instances, perhaps it’s time for them to propose similar bills.